march 15, 2011: beware the ides of march or, it must be said, a well-priced and tasty montepulciano d'abruzzo. because sometimes you raise your glass due to thirst, or to a well-deserved accomplishment. and other times you raise it for the things you wanted to accomplish, but couldn't -- due to red tape, poor planning, or 23 stabs heading your way.
not that we see anything admirable in the way that julius caesar fell. we're not about knives, or the stones that seem to sharpen their blades. but it's easy to acknowledge a good wine when we taste it, and this 2009 gran sasso is exactly that. ever had a fruity malbec from chile? they're different varietals, but this italian is like that malbec's lighter, more supple side, the one that makes you realize, once again, that not all wines have to be pricey. this one i bought at winestyles, where angie, the owner, said it'd be good with both a cheesy lasagna and by itself. at 13 percent alcohol, it's just light enough to make you laugh. and on the ides of march, it's possible that you might just need that.
SECOND NIGHT: this time, this gran sasso is more mellow and a bit rounder. it's a good purchase that we'll make again. incidentally, for those who are interested in montepulciano d'abruzzo, this gran sasso is a good bottle to start with. it's a DOC, meaning denominazione di origine controllata (or, "original location certified"), and it's not always purely comprised of montepulciano grapes. sangiovese grapes, which are permitted to be added to this type of wine, are also grown in this east-central portion of italy on the adriatic coast. for more information, visit http://www.intowine.com/montepulciano-d%E2%80%99abruzzo-wonderful-red-wine-region-abruzzo