Cheers To You

An exploration of all things wine with local wine expert Mary Earl.
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Posts Tagged ‘Da Vinci Chianti’

Wine pairing for Super Bowl finger foods

Friday, February 1st, 2013

By now the 12th Man has probably cried all he’s going to cry into his beer — or in our case wine — over the Seahawks heartbreaking loss to Atlanta two weeks ago.

Still, watching the Super Bowl will be rough in light of how close the Hawks came, and knowing their full potential wasn’t reached. So, yes, we plan to do a little drowning of our sorrows as we watch San Franscico take the field Sunday.

We also plan to do our fair share of eating Super Bowl goodies like Ann Vogel’s Pizza Balls.

Filled with cheese and pepperoni, and of course marinara sauce for dipping, this finger food is a petite Italian meal. That’s why we think an Italian Chianti is the best wine to wash it down.

Chianti is a great go-to wine when looking for a red wine that can stand up to tomato-heavy dishes. It also does great withe meat, which is why it’s a perfect match for these pepperoni-stuffed treats.

To be labeled Chianti, the grapes used to make the wine must be entirely sourced from any of the eight subregions of Chianti, a denominazione di origine controllata, or DOCG. The wine must also be made of at least 75 percent Sangiovese.

The beautiful thing about Chianti is you don’t have to spend a small fortune to get a good bottle locally. In fact most every store in our area carries multiple labels, many from Itlay.

For this recipe we recommend Da Vinci’s Chianti.

This Italian winery uses grapes from the Chianti region, fusing experience and modern winemaking techniques to produce a fruit-forward wine that is soft across the palate. The winery’s goal is to highlight the Sangioveses characteristics, while minimizing acidity to keep bitter and astringent flavors often found in traditional Chiantis out of the wine.

The wine has aromas of cherries and red fruit balanced by soft, round tannins. The winemaking techniques to produce a round mouth feel are evident. One sip and its smooth finish leaves you wanting more.

The winery produces three Chiantis: Chianit, Chianti Classico and Chianti Riserva.

The Chianti, likely the cheapest of the three, starts around $11.


What we’re drinking: Da Vinci Chianti

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Brynn writes:

If you’re looking for a good wine to pair with spaghetti, look no farther than Da Vinci Chianti. Just thinking about sipping this heavy red wine with a meaty tomato-based sauce gets my taste buds tingling. Yum.

The first time I had this wine with spaghetti I was actually quite surprised. I’d purchased it without much knowledge of the style of wine — frankly I’d seen the label over and over again and figured I’d give it a try. The affordable price tag was also big incentive.

My husband Jeff and I tried it the first time with pasta and it was delicious — so we bought a second bottle not too long ago. While I was away in Maui last week enjoying dinners consisting of the day’s fresh catch and lightly seared Ahi Tuna fresh from the Hawaiian waters,  Jeff was stuck at home in chilly Kitsap.

One of his specialties is homemade spaghetti, so he made a hearty batch of the sauce while I was away to help warm up during the snap of cold weather. When it came time to find a wine, he went to our trusty wine wheel and chose the Da Vinci Chianti resting in our wine rack.

Lucky for me there was still some left when I returned home Sunday night. I like this wine because it goes great with spaghetti, one of my favorite dishes, as well as other tomato-based sauces. But, it’s also strong enough to stand on its own if you want a glass of red wine without food.

It comes from Italy’s Chianti region. As described on the winery’s website, to be labeled Chianti the grapes must be entirely sourced from any of the eight sub-regions of Chianti (which is a DOCG; see our post on appellations for further explanation). To fit this designation the wine also has to be 75 percent Sangiovese.

Here’s the brief description the winery gives about its winemaking style and its Chianti:

Da Vinci is the art of making great Chianti by pairing premium grapes from the renowned Chianti region with the experience and modern winemaking techniques of winemaker Alberto Antonini.

The result is a modern-style Chianti which is fruit-forward and soft while maintaining true Chianti characteristics. The goal is to accentuate pretty Sangiovese varietal attributes while minimizing acidic, bitter and astringent characters that were oftentimes found in “traditional” Chianti.

Our approach to this Old-World classic has not gone unnoticed, as exemplified by our numerous awards and accolades received.

The Da Vinci Chianti is deep crimson in color with aromas of cherries and red fruit balanced by soft, round tannins.

What struck me about this wine is its smooth finish. The tannins are present and the flavor full, but the finish is smooth, making me want to try another sip. The winery has three Chiantis: Chianti, Chianti Classico and Chianti Riserva.

We had the 2008 Chianti — it was $11 at the grocery store. I’m guessing, based on reading the wine descriptions online, the other two Chiantis are going to be pricier because of the time spent making them and the sub-regions where the grapes come from.


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