By Dwight Casimere
Marina Cvetic Montepulciano D'Abruzzo FOC San Martino Rosso ($29.99) is a rich robust wine that is perfect for the foods that go with the kind of brisk weather we've been having in advance of spring. Hearty soups and stews, roasted meats, game birds and thick porterhouse or bone in strips quick cooked in the oven on hi broiler temperature with a mushroom sauce bolstered with a splash of the wine are the order of the day. Try a side of riagtoni pasta and broccoli rabe sauteed in garlic and olive oil to complete the culinary portrait. The wine is harvested in mid-October for optimum fruit and then fermented in stainless steel under cool temperatures to retain the rich fruit flavors. The wine is then aged in a new oak barrels for 12-18 months to give it roundness and character and all of those underlying flavors of chocolate, baking spice and vanilla that we love in a red wine. The introductory notes of fresh cut red roses and flavors of ripe red cherries and blackberries persist throughout the bottle with
aromas of dried flowers adding to the flavor potpourri. This is a great wine for a hearty Italian meal. Sunday Italian meatballs with oregano and garlic laced red marzano tomato 'gravy' over ribbons of hand cut pasta with a side of spinach sauteed in garlic and olive oil and a few red pepper flakes and garlic bread dusted with grated parmesan would be in order for a simple but hearty meal this weekend. San Marzano tomatoes are readily available canned in the supermarket. They have a richer, sweeter taste than most tomatoes, without the bitterness and saltiness of most tomatoes on the market. This dish will go perfectly with the wine.
Filet of Beef Medallions with Bernaise, Mushroom and Parmesan sauces