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Wine of the Week: Two wines from Italy answer grill wine riddle

Dwight Casimere | 7/26/2017, 3:17 p.m.
What wine do I serve with barbecue and grilled meats and other grilled foods? It turns out two wines from ...
What wine do I serve with barbecue and grilled meats and other grilled foods? It turns out two wines from very different regions of Italy have solved the riddle;

What wine do I serve with barbecue and grilled meats and other grilled

foods? It turns out two wines from very different regions of Italy

have solved the riddle; Citra Caroso ($21.99) Montepulciano from the

Abruzzi coastal region in central Italy, not far from Tuscany and Principi

Di Butera Insolia DOC ($14.99), a lovely white wine from Sicily. Both are

as different in their characteristics as the regions they come from, but

cover the complete gamut of flavors typical of the plethora of grilled

items served at the family cookout.

Let's start with Insolia. The wine is made from 100% Insolia grapes, native

to Riesi, Sicily, where the grapes are harvested at night then rushed to

stainless steel tanks where they are fermented for 7-10 days. Very cool

temperatures preserve the fresh fruit flavors from the field. The wine is

allowed to rest "on the lees,' for three months, meaning that it is allowed

to rest on the spent yeast, which gives the wine its texture and rich mouth

feel. Another six months of aging in stainless steel, further enhances the

wine's flavors of ripe green and Golden Delicious apples, tangerines, Meyer

lemon and Key Limes and the subtle flavor and texture of lemon sorbet and

the smell of white jasmine flowers and chamomile. The color of yellow straw

and flecks of green and hints of fresh cut sage make it the perfect

accompaniment with seafood salads, grilled shrimp or diver scallops and a

steaming earthen bowl of mushroom risotto, hand pressed couscous, or

grilled whole fish, scored and brushed with stems of fresh rosemary dipped

in olive oil.

On to the next course of butterflied leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary

of a fresh whole chicken drenched in rich balsamic and olive oil, or a

flank steak, flattened and marinated in Mediterranean spices. Citra Croso

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo ($21.99) is the perfect wine. Serve it lightly

chilled to bring out the elegant, soft tannins and intense flavors of ripe,

dark plums and Moroccan spices. The wine is made from 100% Montepulciano

d'Abruzzo grapes, allowed to macerate for 15 days in stainless steel tanks

under controlled temperatures to preserve the delicate fruit flavors. It is

then decanted into large, Slavonian oak barrels, where it rests and gains

roundness of flavor before aging in smaller, French oak barrels to give it

richness and a hint of spice and smoke. Further refinement in the bottle

for six months gives the wine finesse and character. Be sure to have plenty

of this wine on hand because your guests will want to savor it alone by the

fire pit as the embers die in the patio grill.