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The Bachelor on the Cheap guide to making wine selection and food pairing easier - Sangiovese

Wine FunBy Mike Thayer

This is the eighth of an ongoing series of wines and food pairings

Wine, it's the perfect beverage for a romantic dinner, a go-to for a casual get-together/party and a holiday meal is complimented by it.  Whether it's a meal for two, a small party for friends or a gathering of family, having the right wine elevates the occasion. 

And while most people follow the basic rule of thumb - red wine for beef and white wine for chicken - selecting the right wine can still be challenging.  What KIND of red for that roast beef?  Or, What KIND of white for that lemon chicken dish?  Does dessert call for a different wine?

The choices are many and can be intimidating, with the reds there's Merlot; Cabernet Sauvignon; Zinfandel; Syrah/Shiraz; Malbec; Pinot Noir; Nebbiolo; Sangiovese; Grenache and all kinds of red blends to choose from.

With the whites there's Chardonnay; Sauvignon Blanc; Moscato; Pinot Grigio; Riesling; Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Torrontes, Albarino and yes, white wine has it's share of blends as well.

So you walk into the liquor store in need of a bottle of wine for a dinner date or special occasion... 

Sure, you can rely on the store attendant to help you with a selection but that can be hit or miss.  A good attendant will ask you if you prefer wines on the sweeter or dryer side and what you might be pairing it with.  But keep in mind the attendant's palate is different than yours, their sweet and dry preferences are different than yours and they might try to push a particular brand on you that's in the store's best interest, not yours.  So why not walk in the store knowing what you need?  That's what this guide is for, to help you with food pairings, what is sweet, what is dry and getting a good wine for under $15 a bottle.  That's the Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly thing to do, get something nice, without paying too much for it.

For previous reviews, click on the link below:

Today's featured wine:  Sangiovese

Sangiovese is a dry, acidic wine that is known as a "chameleon" grape, to mean that different wines using this grape can be notably different. The vast majority of Sangiovese is produced in the central region of Tuscany, Italy.   Look for tasting notes of cherry and herbal, earthy tones.  Because it's so acidic, stick to savory foods, this is a good dinner wine.  Pairing well with just about anything tomato based, Sangiovese also matches up nicely with spicy dishes.  Consider pairing it with meat dishes featuring a savory cherry sauce to take advantage of the cherry notes in the wine - think grilled pork loin.  Load up your charcuterie board with salami, prosciutto, calabrese and pecorino cheese.  When it comes to non-meat dishes, serve this wine alongside hearty bean soups or gnocchi in a brown butter and herb sauce.  Pass on this wine when it comes to sweets however, NOT a good match.  Serve it slightly chilled, at 60 - 65 degrees, refrigerate about 30 minutes before serving. 

Caparzo SangioveseBachelor on the Cheap Recomendation: Caparzo Sangiovese - $9.99.   This wine is from Italy, Tuscany region, Toscano sub-region.  Best with red meat, pasta with meat sauces, bean and barley soups.  Winemaker notes:  Intense ruby color. Fruity, spicy aromas. The palate is full, fruity, persistent.

Next Up in the series:  Grenache

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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