well it was such a beautiful day today that instead of eating dinner at the usual time, we took the family to a Spring time meadow to hear the red-wing blackbirds, frogs, ducks and geese that have returned. Consequently we got home late and still needed to eat dinner.
Instead of having a Cheerios dinner or (worse) a fast-food "meal", I decided to see what I could whip up from what we had at hand. What came out was (what I now call) Tuscan Tempeh. It was fabulous - fresh mozzarella, seared tempeh, garlic Italian toast. Mmmmmmm. So what did the wife and I open? Why something from Tuscany of course.
We selected Da Vinci Chianti (2003) from the Chianti Region of Tuscany. It has a wonderful nose absolutely overflowing with olives, raspberry (strawberry?), and brine. The fruit - definitely strawberry now, and plum - explodes onto the palate and quickly fades leaving traces of the olives and some bitterness. The finish is a bit green - akin to that of an herbal tea that has steeped too long and become slightly bitter.
We didn't really let it breathe and the wine is better for it. It seems to degrade rather quickly as bitterness takes over. I'm drinking another glass right now (about 2 hours after first opening the bottle) and while it is still nice, the green-grassy finish is much more noticeable.
The wife bought this bottle and believes she paid about $11 or $12 for it. For that price, it's a fine dinner and drinking wine.
Open it at parties and talk about the olives and berries (something even the uninitiated can discern in this wine) and you'll be marked as a wine intellectual. Your friends will start asking you for recommendations and you'll feel important. This is a reputation creating wine. There's enough in here to allow your wine-snob friends to give you a double-take (or try to catch your eye the next time they wax philosophic about this or that fruit of the vine). And there's enough in here to convince your Malibu-and-Coke drinking girlfriend that you're sophisticated and debonair.
Give it a whirl - with your girl.