2006 Valle Reale Montepulciano D'Abruzzo: Others liked it, I was disappointed
may 1, 2011: our neighbors invited us over for dinner last weekend, and we brought over this montepulciano d'abruzzo italian to pair with a homemade -- and delicious -- cajun chili/lasagna made by jimmy. the meal itself was very tasty, and greg and our hosts said they liked this wine. but for me, it wasn't what i was hoping it would be. i wanted a fruity montepulciano, like the one greg and i had in honfleur, normandy, last fall. but after trying numerous wines from the same region, i'm starting to wonder if what we had then was atypical. this wine, which i bought at binny's in lincoln park in chicago, was a bit rustic, but the flavors, to me, were indistinguishable red fruit. about $16. not sure i'd get it again. 14 percent alcohol.
this column runs as "bottle by bottle" in the evansville courier and press twice or so a month. the focus is on wines, food and how they intersect. if i receive gifts, i'll tell you. photo credits are noted. i buy most of my wines from winetree, varsity liquors, schnucks, the fresh market, kwik liquor and winestyles (in evansville, ind.); big red liquors and sahara mart (in bloomington, ind.); vecchio's italian market (in newburgh, ind.); whole foods (in st. louis); and binny's (in chicago.) also, i do try a number of wines that i don't necessarily mention in the column, through travels to france and other markets (germany, hungary, italy, etc.) that don't sell wines i can find here. those experiences factor into my tasting descriptions, even if i don't mention them in the column, so keep all that in mind. i write the column to tell my readers in the evansville, ind., area what i consider to be flavorful, balanced and good-value wines for sale in this area.