In honor of the Montalcino producer’s vote last week to maintain the integrity of the region’s Rosso wines (Baby Brunellos), we will review a wonderful bottle of Rosso from Banfi. The proposal put forward was to allow grapes other than Sangiovese into wines classified as Rosso di Montalcino which many, including myself, believe would defeat the entire purpose of having a Rosso wine at all. This Banfi Rosso is a firecracker with bright fresh cherries jumping out of the glass followed closely by plums and liquorish. It’s a bright, young wine that serves its purpose – to quench one’s thirst while its big brother is aging in the cellar. It’s a medium bodied wine with a medium finish, mild tannins and medium to high acid to compliment those tomatoes Kori talks about below. I would not hesitate to plop down $25 for this little guy any day of the week. It’s not particularly complex, but it’s well balanced and would be a great crowd pleaser at any gathering. Food Pairing Suggestions: I love Rosso di Montalcinos because many of them are affordable, high quality options to pour with one of my favorite ingredients – tomatoes. Sangiovese is really one of the only grapes that seem to have been created with tomatoes in mind. This Banfi is no exception and it cries out for a Classic Margherita Pizza. It’s not a fancy wine, so keep it simple. In fact, a slice from Sal and Carmine’s on the Upper West Side of Manhattan would fit the bill just fine. I love that place. In lieu of a visit to New York, any dish where tomatoes or tomato sauce is the key ingredient would work fine like lasagna or spaghetti marinara. Just be sure not to be too heavy handed with the spice. Keep it mild to medium and it will enhance the wine and the food.
Smooth & Supple