INsite Magazine

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wine of the Week

"What wine goes best with pizza?" This is a question I've heard many times in my 20 years of selling wine in Gainesville. There are a number of possibilities, but I recently found a perfect pairing option, and from Italy no less - the country that perfected the pizza. Carpineto's Dogajolo, a wine I had at this year's Celebration of Wine is a great option, but it can also work for classier Italian menus like lasagna, manicotti, and plain old spaghetti and meatballs.

For about $12 per bottle, you get a Tuscan red blend of 80 percent Sangiovese and 20 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, what we in the biz call a "Super Tuscan" style. This refers to the fact that it's not a historical blend like Tuscany's Chianti, but uses "foreign" varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon with Tuscany's own Sangiovese (literally "the blood of Jove"). The bottle has an explosion of leaves on the front and an interesting, though often mispronounced name. It isn't rare for people to ask me for the "Doggy Loo Loo" wine.

This wine has a vibrant red color, almost ruby, with a little rust tinge at the edges. It has enough bright, red fruit acidity to pair perfectly with red-sauce, fully loaded pizza. Hints of almond and dried fruits hit you on the first whiff, and tart red currants or cherries hit the palate, with a finish that hints of cedar and spice box. Even with that addition of Cabernet, this is a medium-bodied wine that goes with loads of food options.

Although the wine is affordable, it comes in a very classy package, making it appropriate for all levels of wining. The 2008 is the current release and it is ready to drink, but you can always let it breathe, if it has a little more Old World acidity than you are accustomed to. Cheers!

-Daniel Eddy, Manager at Gator Spirits & Fine Wines, Westgate and Gainesville Wine Pairing Examiner

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