Monday, May 12, 2014

Poggio Anime Sameal Montepulciano D' Abruzzo

For the last decade, I haven't been one to always pair a regional food with a wine from the same region. When I was first becoming a wino, I did this all the time. Northern Italian foods with Northern Italian wine, French provincial with Burgundy, etc. While that kind of pairing is usually quite good, I don't necessarily follow that anymore. I'll put together a chicken parm with a German Kabinett if that's the mood I'm in. Tonight, however, I decided to go back to the beginning and have this Montepulciano with a good Italian meal. I drummed up some marinated beef kebabs and spaghetti with a simple marinara. (Many thanks to Francis for the recipe.)

I poured a couple of glasses and let the wine air out a bit. As per usual, I can't wait until dinner to drink wine so I sampled it. It was unmistakably a Montepulciano. It had the old world wine flavors that reflect the terroir of the region; earthy, herbal, and dark fruitiness. Another little tidbit about this wine is that it is aged in tightly grained Slavonian oak barrels. It is a less expensive barrel alternative to French oak and it imparts only the faintest of woody flavors which leaves plenty of room for the fresh blackberries and rich cherries. The concentrated flavors only became more complex as the wine rested in the glass. Overall, this inexpensive wine was the exact right thing to have with my kebabs. Other things that you could match it with would be a nice bolognese, some lamb chops, or a cheesy supreme pizza. (Hold the green peppers on mine, please.)

About the label. That is Samael. He is one of the seven archangels. According to Talmudic texts, he serves God, but he wants humans to act evil. He is said to be both good and bad, which translates easily to Montepulciano. In Italy, it's easy to get tired of this wine because it is ubiquitous. That's the bad. The good is that it is a very tasty wine. Not all Montepulciano wines are good. I've had some bombs, but this one is not. It is a very tasty, inexpensive dry red wine that you should make an effort to try. Saluti.

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