Monday, January 9, 2012

The Cellar Called; I Answered

I was recently trading stories of Tuscany with a friend who had just returned from three months in the beautiful Italian countryside. It made me want to buy a plane ticket in the worst way. As I sat reminiscing about the amazing food and wine I've consumed in Italy, a faint voice beckoned. I went to my wine cellar and peered at the rows of Italian treats I've been collecting over the years. I gently pulled out a bottle of 1996 Podere Capaccia, Querciagrande (a Sangiovese from Chianti) and decided it's time had come.

The big question when opening a big bottle is what to serve it with. It may not have been the best pairing, but I wanted eggplant parm. As I was cooking I opened the bottle for an initial taste. It started out remarkably balanced and smooth with lots of dark fruit and some tobacco. About 2 hours into the bottle (yes, I milked it that long) the chewy tannins started to appear; time has been kind to this wine. I was so happy!

I brought this bottle back from Italy ten years ago; when you could still carry liquids on planes and the dollar was actually worth something. I tried in vain to find tasting notes and values for the 96 vintage. I mostly wanted to see if it was a vintage that aged well.  But at the end of the day those stats really don't matter. What mattered was that the wine was awesome and I got to share it, and it's story with good friends over good food. Cheers!

***COMMENTS: Thanks to all my Facebook friends for posting so many great comments. I would LOVE it if you could also post your comments here on this blog site. Many people tell me they posted and it never showed up. Disappointing for us both. So click comment, type your comment, check the box that says "comment as" then hit post. If a word verification box does not appear next (a scrambled word to retype) your comment did not post. Thanks!


  1. I remember things well all those years ago. You were in Italy when 9/11 happened and the planes were all grounded and you were worried you would be there longer.

  2. Good memory. Italy is not such a bad place to be stuck...pasta, pizza, wine, beautiful fashion and people