Last Monday night I cooked a basic Italian dish, sausage with wagon wheel pasta. It is not a shape I like but the kids enjoy it and I was hoping no one would notice the chicken and lemon thyme sausage. My kids are adventurous eaters but they were all tired from vacation bible school and all parents know how that can change the dinner dynamic. As luck would have it my little distraction worked and every one enjoyed dinner.
My choice for dinner was two fold, to use up the sausage I smoked on Sunday and to taste a number of Italian red wine samples that have been lingering around my office for a couple of weeks. Several of the wines are items I can buy direct from the importer and pass along great savings to you so I had high hopes. Most of the wines I was tasting I had already sampled with my staff with little success. It was one of those tastings where everything missed. One bad example after another. Maybe tasting the wines alone, at home, would reveal something missed during the first tasting.
No such luck. All of the wines displayed the same flaws as the first time around. Even waiting until dinner was done and re tasting revealed nothing positive, except for one wine. A Sangiovese/Merlot blend from a Montalcino house. The color was good, the nose fruit driven, the palate moderately lush. I handed a glass to my wife and after taking a taste she made “the face.” This is the look I get when I try to pass off a bite of stinky cheese, slightly overcooked meat or over seasoned Scooby snack. You know the look, eyes scrunched up, wrinkles at the bridge of the nose, mouth pushed down into a frown. “That wine is too bitter” she says. I tell her to try another sip because she may have something on her palate. The second taste elicits the same response, “No, that wine is terrible” she insists. I take another taste. I don’t think it is so bad but then I remember Jason said the same thing about the same wine. Perhaps I have a blind spot to the bitterness. I taste it but I don’t find it that bad. It is after all, an Italian wine.
That bottle, along with six others are dumped and sent to the recycling bin. Not even a decent glass to drink while washing dishes after. Looks like it’s time for a shot of Sazerac Rye (18 year old) and one ice cube.