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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cantina Zaccagnini

2006 Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

I’ve been a Zaccagnini fan for the past several years, as Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is relatively easy to come by here in New York, and priced modestly considering its excellent quality.  The 2006 vintage is a beautifully balanced Italian red wine very indicative of its region, but it should be permitted to breathe for some time, maybe half an hour or so, and decantering it seems to work wonders, as it opens up nicely.  In the glass it’s a deep red, and displays aromas of both red and dark fruits, berries, and some spice, as well as the barrel, and after a few moments the fruit will ease up.  The flavors are wonderful and appear to come from a much more expensive wine, with a balance between earth and fruit flavors and hints of smokiness.  The finish is long and memorable.  It’s an easy wine to drink and pairs well with normal Italian fare, pasta dishes, firmer cheeses, and could easily stand up to meats.  For the excellent quality and value, Zaccagnini is by far the most popular wine in our house, and it has greeted nearly all of our guests at some point – and each time I taste it, it seems better and better.  It’s the kind of red wine that can be enjoyed on any evening, and as of now it is my favorite comfort wine.

However, this evening, dinner consisted of fresh cod fish dredged in seasoned flour and cooked in a sauce of olive oil, butter, lemon juice, and white wine (Rene Barbier White Catalunya – the white wine we usually use for cooking), as well as broccoli, and a Parmigiano Reggiano risotto.  The wine I chose was the white wine produced by Zaccagnini, a Pinot Grigio.  I had only heard about this wine until recently, as no distributors nearby had it in stock, but just before the holidays, I found it in one of the local wine shops, and grabbed a bottle as a gift for my sister on Christmas.  A week or so ago, my sister let me know that she and her husband enjoyed the wine very much, and that while it was very much a Pinot Grigio, it was not particularly acidic.  So naturally, I picked up a bottle and planned dinner accordingly.  The pairing was absolutely perfect – the wine, a 2009, was extremely pale in color, almost completely clear, with notes of lemon, green apple, and, surprisingly, an aroma that resembled the breathy sweetness of rose petals.  And, as my sister had remarked, not as acidic as would normally be expected from a Pinot Grigio, but clean and crisp, and cleansing to the palate, with a long finish.  Needless to say, I was so happy that after falling in love with Zaccagnini’s red wine, its white wine was just as pleasing, and will undoubtedly become a regular in our house.

2009 Cantina Zaccagnini Pinot Grigio, with fresh cod cooked in sauce of olive oil, butter, lemon juice, and dry white wine

1 comment:

  1. I love Montepulciano d'Abbruzso. The one that I get here, typically from Costco for somewhere around $9-10 a bottle is from Bosco. I experience all the same things from it as you described with the Zacagnini with the Bosco. I have had another Monte but I did not think the fruit was as luscious as the Bosco. The Pinot Grigio sounds nice as I too find most of them way too acidic for my taste. How much are you paying for each of these two wines? That would be good info to put in your blogs.

    The fish looks very nice. I have found when using White Wine to cook with that you really dont need to add butter. Next time you cook this, try it without butter and see if you can tell the difference.

    Great posting .......