The Winey Family is gearing up (and by that I mean writing checks) for a graduation bonanza. It will occur this May, in the space of 4 days, at which time the Winey Son will graduate from college and the Winey Daughter will graduate from high school. The Winey Hubby and I have already begun our graduation spending, starting with senior pictures for them both and cap and gown for daughter (since she is a girl, we cannot recycle her brother's "boy" set from 4 years ago, so if anyone ever has the need for green OR white cap and gown ensembles, please call on us). The Winey Son, being that he is graduating from West Point, is eyeing a gorgeous Class of 2014 Pistol as a gift. And by gorgeous I mean expensive. Ditto the saber he has carried for his last year, the uniforms he has worn (ok, I am the one that wants them...he and his classmates can't wait to be rid of them) and the special coins that newly minted officers hand out. Daughter is going to college, and with every acceptance letter come the instructions for us to pay her initial deposit along with her instructions on what to buy to ensure her collegiate success. (Textbooks? Nope. New wardrobe and free reign at Bed Bath and Beyond? Yup.) Personally, I'd give anything if she'd just DECIDE on a college. But oh no...she can't make a final decision until we re-visit certain schools. All of which require at least one overnight stay. And shopping for t-shirts and sweatshirts at the bookstore.
But with all these monetary issues staring us square in our soon-to-be-empty-nester faces, there is one item that we are actually looking forward to spending money on. A big old celebratory trip. To Italy. The Winey Family has wanderlust. We love, love, love to travel and one of our bucket list destinations is that boot shaped country full of art and culture and pasta and gorgeous shoes and (for me at least) wine! My friends at Bolla wines have been helping me prepare for this venture (which at this writing, is just a plan..nothing has been booked but we are ever hopeful that all four of us can carve time out of a very busy summer to get away together) by sending me a bevy of Italian wines to sample. Seriously, you should all have friends like them. Anyway, knowing that research and planning are essential to any good vacation, I have been sipping these wines in anticipation of which ones I will drink in Italy. Sometimes, I am so on top of things, I scare myself.
Let's talk Chianti. I have written about this wine before, and I usually start those posts of by admitting that I am highly skeptical of Sangiovese, the grapes that Chianti is made from. I don't know why. Maybe it's because there are SO MANY Chiantis out there and many of them are well, let's just say they are the polar opposite of the experience of having two graduations in one week. And by that I mean cheap. In the "this tastes cheap" sense of the word. There is also that whole "Silence of the Lambs" Chianti thing. Fava beans and Chianti and human brain? Um, no. Besides which, I haven't really had any that bowl me over.
Then I tried Bolla Chianti (2011, 13%, Italy) and was very pleasantly surprised. It started out with sour cherry and oak on the nose. The taste was tart cherry, oak, some dark green herbs (Chianti is known for its herbs) and a touch of raspberry in the middle. My initial reaction was, "Finally, a Chianti that doesn't leave me with my lips in a pucker!" The fruits are there for sure, but the wine ends with some nice lingering tannins. They are more round and full though - not thin and sharp and drying as with some other Chiantis I have had. I would pair it with Italian dishes with red sauce (see, I am planning ahead). We happened to have it with beef stew and mashed potatoes and it did wonderfully. But you could sip it on its own too. And that's not often the case with big reds like this. This really surprised me. It had just enough more fruit than other Chiantis I've tried to make my taste buds happy. Plus, Bolla is a great bargain - look to pay around $8 a bottle.
I have more wines to tell you about, but I'm getting a bit long winded here. So in the interest of not overwhelming us all, here is my review of Bolla Cresco
I received this wine for review purposes. The opinions are all my own. Ciao!