I am not a sommelier. I am not a wine connoisseur. But….I know what I like. And I like Italian reds, especially the ones from Umbria.
Meet Sagrantino….and Passito.
These are the signature wines of Umbria. They are produced from 100% Sagrantino grapes, and carry the DOCG label signifying their authenticity. They are beautiful to look at; deep ruby red, bordering on purple….so dark you can’t possibly see through them; just the way I like it. Swirl your glass and watch those beautiful legs form.
Take a whiff of the Sagrantino; such a unique aroma. My husband’s nose is far better than mine. He can tell when he’s sniffing a Sagrantino. He calls it, “seductive” and says, “It implores you to taste it”.
Take a sip. Oh my. Sagrantino is a wine that begs to be consumed with food. To me, it is not a sipping wine before dinner. It belongs with hearty foods; foods from Umbria; foods that I love. We’re talking steaks, sausages, wild boar stew, salami, gorgonzola cheese, olives. This is a strong wine, high not only in alcohol content, but also in flavor. It is earthy, intense, full-bodied, robust and oh, so delicious. My favorite combo: crostini covered in melted gorgonzola, drizzled with local honey and washed down with Sagrantino. Swoon.
After you’ve had your fill of the fantastic Umbrian food and several glasses of Sagrantino, it’s time to move on to Passito. What is it exactly? It’s the sweet version of Sagrantino. Sweet Passito dessert wine has been in existence far longer than Sagrantino. It was made by monks hundreds of years ago. It’s beautiful to look at and even more wonderful to sip. Have it with little tozzeti for dessert. It also pairs beautifully with chestnuts and strong cheeses. This dark, sweet nectar-of-the-gods is the perfect after dinner wine. And when you order it in an Umbrian restaurant, they are quite generous with the pour.....lucky you.
October wine tour travelers are in luck! We will taste both of these wines….a lot.