Italian wine can be tricky. There are over a thousand varietals so it's not uncommon to come across something you may never have heard of before, like the Aglianico. It's an ancient grape from southern Italy that doesn't get much attention.
I gave it lots of attention during a fabulous dinner at Sasse's in Fort Myers. Its color was rich, the nose complex and it tasted plumy, juicy with tannins that developed nicely throughout the evening. What a great pairing with the Veal Scallopini (topped with sun dried tomatoes and fresh sage).
When I first moved to Fort Myers we nicknamed Sasse's the "Pasta Nazi" after the famous Soup Nazi from the TV show Seinfeld. The original owner would close when he wanted, served who he wanted and didn't give a damn what you thought about any of it! The stories are too numerous and infamous to even begin to mention.
Times have changed and gracious owners Jerry and Barbara Snyderman sip wine while wandering from table to table as if hosting a dinner party in their private home. The food is full of flavor, the portions are more than generous, the wine list is adventurous and affordable making it one of the best culinary finds in town!
The restaurant isn't much to look at from the outside. It's in a strip mall off the beaten path on Evans Avenue. You will probably drive by it the first time. My favorite part of the interior is the barrel room. It used to house a wine-making operation and now serves as a private dinning area perfect for parties and special events. Leave your credit cards at home, cash is king at Sasse's and you'll feel like one when you leave!