Wine of the Week: La Guardiense Janare Benevento Aglianico


Vintage: 2017

Region: Campania

Style: Aglianico

Country: Italy

Winery: La Guardiense

Tasting Notes: Lots of fruit on the tongue, a round, full-to dry finish with some chalk, which makes it a very cool wine and perfect for Fall.

Rating: 🍷🍷🍷

Thoughts: Anglianico is a red varietal that is a little more acidic that some of the other reds you may be familiar with, which means that even though it’s medium-bodied, it will stand up to a steak with no problem. This region is one of the unsung areas of Italy, so if you can find a bottle and want to try something new, grab one.

Pairings: Ribs, chicken, pork chops. This is a versatile wine.

Wine of the Week: Domaine de la Présidente Côtes Du Rhône


Vintage: It’s a mystery

Region: Côtes du Rhône

Style: Red Blend – Grenache, Carignan, Syrah, Cinsault

Country: France

Winery: Domaine de la Présidente

Tasting Notes: Dark fruits, spice, violets and pepper.

Rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷

Thoughts: A special bottle of unknown vintage (because look who missed that on the photo…) but I do remember this as an excellent Côtes Du Rhône, and a limited edition. I wanted to slot it this week because A - I love a good Côtes du Rhône, and B - I want to talk about the pairings.

Last week, I mentioned Italian wines are enhanced by garlic. In the same vein, French wines are enhanced by onions. It’s something about the soil, the food, the style of the wines, but trust me, if you pair these younger, easier wines properly, you’ll get a lot more out of them.

Pairings: Soupe à l'oignons gratinée, naturally, of which I have an excellent recipe to share below.

Wine of the Week: Prunotto Langhe Nebbiolo


Vintage: 2016

Region: Langhe, Piedmont

Style: Nebbiolo

Country: Italy

Winery: Prunotto

Tasting Notes: Roses. Licorice. Raspberries. Incredible!

Rating: 🍷🍷🍷🍷

Thoughts: I love this wine. I love Prunotto in general, and I’m always a big fan of a Nebbiolo. My family is from the Piedmonte region, so a good Nebbiolo makes me happy. Prunotto is always an elegant bottle, and this isn’t super heavy and overwhelming.

Pairings: As with most Italian wines, garlic helps you realize the full potential. I’d do lasagna or spaghetti with this one.

Wine of the Week: Jacuzzi Barbera


Vintage: 2011

Region: Rancho Victoria - Sierras

Style: Barbera

Country: USA

Winery: Jacuzzi

Tasting Notes: Very indicative of the varietal with cherry and strawberry on the tongue. Bright, light, and tasty.

Rating: 🍷🍷🍷

Thoughts: Here’s an Italian grape presented in the hills of Sonoma County, California. We discovered Jacuzzi after a not great experience with another, will-remain-unnamed vineyard drove us away. (Hint—women do drink red wine…). Jacuzzi was open, welcoming, and had some intriguing Italian-based wines, so we had to give them a try. We brought this bottle home and just cracked it open last week, and boy, did it stand up well to a few years of cellaring. I wouldn’t let this vintage go too much more, but it was very good.

Pairings: This Barbera is on the lighter side of reds, so this is a perfect wine with lemon chicken or grilled fish.

Wine of the Week: Don Mendo Gran Riserva


Vintage: 2011

Region: Cariñena

Style: Red Blend—Tempranillo, Carignan, Garnacha

Country: Spain

Winery: Don Mendo

Tasting Notes: Cherry and blueberry, notes of leather and tobacco. I especially appreciate that hint of smoke from the earthy tones.

Rating: 🍷🍷🍷

Thoughts: We found this through our Wall Street Journal Wine Club, and it was a fun surprise. I’m not usually a big fan of blends, but these balanced quite well. A nice, easy bottle for a Tuesday night.

Pairings: We had it with some spicy tacos, but would also do well with carnitas, both pork and chicken. Anything with cumin, actually.