Lillian here, in New York. I just succeeded in buying a new pair of neon running shoes. To celebrate this small victory, I naturally went to buy some wine! In the wine store, I perused the labels, but went no further when I saw (1) a label with an old photo of Italian men and (2) read that the wine was none other than my favorite robust, multi-purpose wine type: Montepulciano!
In the store, I boldly carried the bottle to the counter with a triumphant smile on my face. In verification of this pride, when handing over my ID blazoned with our last name, the guy at the counter bellowed jovially, in his thick Jersey accent, “Ah, Italian!” and then the definitive: “you choose well!”
And I suppose I had. It was Montepulciano, of course. One of my top five favourite types of wine/grapes.
“Rosso Dei Politici” was the name of this particular bottle of red wine.
The bottle itself modeled your homemade wines, adorned with a engaging, family-oriented photo as the label and some fun, quirky font promulgating the name. On the back label, I read more about the “famous” Italian wine.
“When in Abruzzo we eat what the Abruzzese eat, port ragus, charcoal seared lamb and rustic egg pastas drizelled with garlic-spiked olive oil. Garlic spized everything that is, and chili pepper as well. This is Cucina d’Abruzzo.
And what the Abruzzese wash down this abbondanza with is fresh, juicy Montepulciano, Italy’s great everyday red. Back in town we drink Rosso del Politici with Thai, Mexican, or spicy Chinese; pizza, pasta or just about anything in red sauce. We prefer it on the cool-side and in summertime at pool-side in a tall glass over ice. Delizioso.”
I agree with them! What better wine to buy than the one that couples perfectly with all that New York delivery (Thai, Mexican, Chinese, Pizza, Pasta, etc) has to offer? Montepulciano! I suggest that all of us here order in some delivery and uncover your opinion on this multipurpose, robust red. (Unfortunately, after spending far too much money on new running shoes and the celebratory wine, I wasn’t entirely equipped to spend any more on a Seamless-delivered restaurant dinner. But the Montepulciano still tasted great with my cheese, crackers and berries! )
…Now, my dear Vintner-father, please tell me more about this wine variety.
Okay, hang onto your hat, Lillian. My answer is a bit complicated and confusing. This shouldn’t be too surprising, though, because we’re talking about an Italian wine!
Montepulciano is a red Italian wine grape variety. It originates mostly from the central eastern coast of Italy, in the Marche, Abruzzo, Molise, and Puglia regions.
This wine has black pepper and blackberry aromas, with a rich, deep cherry, blackberry, and chocolate flavor taste.
You know, it is likely related to another better-known Italian grape, Sangiovese. Sangiovese is actually the dominant grape used to make Chianti, but it is also used to make a similarly-named Tuscan blended wine: “Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.” (This wine is named after a village in central Italy called Montepulciano). But guess what? This Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wine has no Montepulciano grape in it – welcome to Italian wines!
Hope the next time you taste wine made from Montepulciano grapes, it won’t be nearly as confusing on your palate as my explanation here was on your brain.