Montepulciano: Articles on the Montepulciano Red Wine Grape Varietal

Wines to Go Buy This Week: "Comfort Wines" - A Zinfandel by Glenn Hawk and Tulip Hill's Cabepulciano (yeah you read that right)

I live in San Francisco and January weather here means 50 degrees and rain. Constant bone-chilling rain, or so it seems. And before the rest of America emails to remind me how good I have it and how freaking cold it is in New York or Ohio or whatever other frozen tundra they call home, I'm just gonna say that when you are cold, you are cold, and comfort food -and comfort wine- goes a long way towards warming your heart when Old Man Winter starts to have his way with you. So with this in mind, I bring you two comfort wines you should go buy this week.   

Glenn Hawk Zinfandel - I typically don't gravitate to Zinfandel. I associate Zins with "cocktail wines", that is, wines that are delicious for a few sips of a single glass but can be a bit too fruity and overwhelming for those of us who tend towards enjoying multiple glasses. So I don't recommend many Zinfandels simply because I don't drink many of them. Every once in a while I stumble back down the Zinfandel path and am reminded of how good the varietal can be. I recently tried the 2009 Glenn Hawk Zinfandel from Livermore Valley (just south of Napa in the shadow of Mt. Diablo).

Le Marche's Le Terrazze: Bob Dylan, Chaos & Some Great Italian Wines

Le Marche (pronounced lay Mar-kay) is a region in central Italy that borders the Adriatic Sea to the east and the Apennines to the west.  Le Marche borders Emilia-Romagna to the north, Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio to the west, and Abruzzi to the south.  The terrain is mostly hills and mountains once you get away from the coast.  The area has a long history matching most of the historic conquests of Italy: it was occupied by the Gaul’s, colonized by the Romans, later it was invaded by the Goths and Lombard’s, then by Charlemagne.  It was then mostly a papal state before finally being annexed in the mid-1800’s by the kingdom of Italy. 

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo: A Wonderful Red Wine from the Region of Abruzzo

Heading due east from Rome lays the region of Abruzzo. This is a historically poor region whose people inhabit the hills and mountains so prevalent in the province. The people are proud and independent. They resemble the peoples of Italy’s southern regions in attitude and aptitude. Likewise the food and wine cultures reflect that lack of affluence centered on a hard working community. The hillsides are excellent for viticulture. The most popular red grape is the Montepulciano although many other grapes are grown here most notably Sangiovese.

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