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swirl and savor

Wine of the Moment, Farnese Montepulciano D'Abruzzo

Beth Ribblett

My love for Italian wine keeps me constantly on the look out for lesser known wines that represent great values and easy drinking. After our food and wine tour of Sicily, southern Italy is where it's at for me right now. And while Abruzzo is just barely considered part of the Mezzogiorno, its mountains have shielded it from the northern influences, aligning its culture, cuisine and wine making styles more closely related to that of the south.

If you head due east from Rome, you'll run into the region of Abruzzo, bordered by the Appenines Mountains to the west, the Adriactic Sea to the east and home to the Montepulciano grape. Montepulciano is one of Italy's most important grapes, and it is the defining variety for Abruzzo just as Sangiovese is for Tuscany and Aglianico is for Campagnia.

Stylistically you have two different wines that are produced from the Montepulciano grape; the young, more common fruit forward type seduces the palate with velvety mouthfeel balanced by a rustic edge that keeps it intriguing and the more tannic, ageworthy style from the Colline Teramane zone.

This young, easy, Farnese Montepulciano D'Abruzzo is the former and made by a prodcuer that’s been making wine for over four centuries in the Colline Teramane zone. An incredible value, it brings ripe, luscious fruit, satin-textured bramble, black cherry and wild berry flavors with soft leather and a touch of earth. This wine will be an ideal pairing with the Creole Daube featured recipe this week!

A steal at $12.99!