"Northern California's Mendocino County, a wine region rich with redwoods, coastal climate and definitely Pinot Noir, has birthed three disparate yet dedicated wineries, proudly wearing their Pinot passion like a badge of honor," writes Taylor. Read their profiles.
Dei 2013 Rosso di Montepulciano ($19.99)
A blend of 80% Prugnolo Gentile (Montepulciano's name for Sangiovese) with Canailo, this is a clear, dark purple wine with reddish-orange glints against the light, typical look for a Tuscan red. Attractive aromas are typical of the region, too, fresh black cherries and dried cherries and just a hint of warm spice on the nose and palate. Fresh, crisp acidity and more than a little soft tannin accompany a long, mouth-watering finish. Fine food wine. Typical of good Tuscan reds, this would find a natural match with beef or game, and there's certainly no shame in putting it up with such stereotypical pairings as a meat-topped pizza or red-sauced pasta dish.
Vino e Cucina d'Italia
Lovers of Italian wines know of Tuscany. To the southwest lies the less well-known Cantina Vignaioli del Morelino di Scansano, a cooperative of approximately 150 growers, producing nearly 2.5 million bottles of wine a year. Neil Duarte visited recently.Here's his report.