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Wine with Pizza

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It started a few weeks ago with some twittering back and forth between our friends Master Sommelier Claudia Tyagi and Western Market Wine Manager Jarred Gild about Beaujolais, and in particular, one of our favorites from that oft-maligned appellation. We were privy to said twitters, one thing led to another and it was decided that the wine in question would be tasted at Gang Central, along with a few others in support and a variety of Kim’s killer homemade pizzas. Also in attendance were Jarred’s friend Dawn Astrop and Roastmaster aka James Cadariu. After we started things off with a glass of our house bubbly, Mionetto Brut Prosecco, we turned our attention to a wine that James brought back from a recent visit to Romania.

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2007 Prince Stirbey Tamaioasa Romaneasca Sec, 13% alc.: Made from a native Romanian grape related to Muscat, this peach-tinged medium straw colored was produced in a manner that bucks tradition by being fermented totally dry, rather than sweet. The flavors and aromas are dominated by a strong impression of garlic sweat, which is fine with me, since I’ve enjoyed many of the more aggressive expressions of Sauvignon Blanc, which can show a similar characteristic. Other tasters added impressions of woodruff and musk and earthy animal with a little tangerine and clementine. Medium to medium-full bodied, with excellent acidity, this is definitely different, and quite interesting and enjoyable. Find this wine

Next, we got right to the one that got us all together on this occasion, and it’s showing just as nicely as ever.

2007 Domaine des Terres Dorees/J.P. Brun Beaujolais l’Ancien Vieilles Vignes, 12% alc., $17.99: Pretty ruby garnet color, with lovely aromatics of floral cherry and strawberry, which take on a more tart cherry character in the mouth, a solid earthy base. Medium to medium-full bodied, with good acids and some tannins for a bit of aging potential, but so good already, why wait? Claudia was especially impressed with this, commenting that it certainly isn’t the all-too-prevalent fruity bubble gum Beaujolais, and in that regard, she’s happily quite correct. Find this wine

Imported by LDM Wines, Inc., New York, NY

Jarred and Dawn brought the following two wines, because Italians and pizza are a natural match, right? Of course they are!

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2007 Fattoria Colsanto Ruris Umbria, 70% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot, 10% Sagrantino, 13.5% alc., $13.99: Clean, dark color, with a funky-in-a-good-way, slightly bretty nose; more of the same on the palate, with a solid core of earthy, ripe plum and berry. Full, bodied, but not heavy, with good structure and length. The bretty nuance actually sets the tone here, which I really like, but without the rich fruit, this would be nowhere. As it is, I like this a lot. Find this wine

Imported by Siema Wines LLC, Springfield, VA.

2007 San Lorenzo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, 13.5% alc., $12.99: Clean, dark color, with earthy blackberry, black cherry and black currant flavors and aromas that are riper than I would have expected, all accented with an obvious, if not terribly intrusive note of oak. James found it reminiscent of Grenache, an obvious indication that it’s not traditionally made Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Full bodied, with good structure and length, and if it’s not a style that I favor personally, it’s one that has its appeal for “international” palates. Find this wine

Imported by Siema Wines LLC, Springfield, VA.

James also brought along the final wine of the evening, and like the previous three, it’s available at Western Market at the price listed, and as much as I love the Brun Beaujolais l’Ancien, this was the “wine of the night” for me.

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2007 Thierry Puzelat KO “In Cot We Trust” Touraine, 12.5% alc., $25.99: Cot is the name for Malbec in the Loire Valley, but this isn’t the “toast and coffee” kind o’ Malbec from Argentina that is all the rage in the US right now. Deeply, darkly colored, it offers earthy forest floor and herbaceous underbrush over a core of dried cherry and under-ripe strawberry, with a tart sour streak that adds to the cool-climate appeal. Almost chewy, it’s full bodied and well structured, with several years of promise for cellaring, but already very appealing. I love this wine’s personality; it’s very much in the style of others I’ve enjoyed from Puzelat, with that earthy underbrush character, and it’s one I could drink on a regular basis. Find this wine

It was a fine evening of excellent wines, food and friendship. Kim’s pizzas were particularly noteworthy, as no two were the same, yet all were delicious. Unfortunately, she was so busy in the kitchen while the rest of us were consumed with yacking and yucking it up, no one thought to take any food porn photos of those delightful little pies, a mistake that hopefully won’t be made again any time soon.

Imported by LDM Wines, Inc., New York, NY

Reporting from Day-twah,

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