The Cheese Lady

Remember when we were kids and they wanted to take our photo, they would say “say fromage,” and I have family throughout Ontario in Canada and we always said “cheese.”  Cheese is often associated with wine and most people are absolutely perfect with that concept.  I am sorry to say that I am the worst cheese eater, you may ever meet.  I am not sure where it occurred of if it is just my taste buds, but I am lucky if I can tolerate cheese made from cow’s milk.  I have tried cheese from buffalo, goat, sheep and I am sure there must be others and none of them work for me.  Goat cheese for some odd reason, always tastes like chalk to me and Romano cheese tastes like soap to me, so I have given up.  Bleu cheese that is everyone’s favorite, we won’t even go there.  All of which is probably good for me, as I have a history of kidney stones and dairy products are a no-no for me, and that is a good medical and technical term.  The funny thing is that I still like the taste of certain cheeses.  I would never be able to be John Cleese in the old Monty Python skit about the “Cheese Shop” with bouzouki music in the background, as I don’t know if I can ever pronounce all of the cheeses that he recites in an inquiry. 

All of which is a prelude to an independent shop that we recently visited, because it was touted by our dear friend The Wine Raconteur Jr.  My Bride has always brought up a cheese shop that we enjoyed visiting every time we have been to Carmel-by-the-Sea, and I have to admit that it was the most impressive shop that I have been to, though I am sure that there are others, but we normally don’t wander into cheese emporiums.  The Cheese Lady totally reminded my Bride of that shop and she was agog.  Of course, they did not have just Swiss cheese, she had to get fancier in her pursuit and I was kind of giggling on the inside, but that does sound mean of me.  She kept ordering types of cheese and they would wrap up one cheese and then go and unwrap another cheese, and prior to slicing a wedge they would make a wide sliver with a special cheese tool, and would break the sliver in half, so that both of us could taste the cheese.  Then she asked if they sold that tool, because she has always been told that they were not for sale, here they said yes and she bought two different sizes of them.  She also saw these beautiful marble versions of the cheese mandolin that they were using to slice the hunks of cheese for us.  I can see that there will be some cheese paraphernalia that some people will receive for either Christmas or Birthday gifts, she was on a roll.  While they had mandolins, I did not see a bouzouki.   As she was getting ready to make her purchase, she saw the bargain remnants of cheese, beautifully wrapped and the sales tag also described the cheese that was inside, and several of those were picked up as well.  There is an old expression in retailing that purchasing is infectious, and though I refrained from all of the fancy prepared foods, though I was tempted, another trip is called for, though I did find a chink in my armor, Dark Chocolate coated Marzipan from Germany, actually it is more like Krypton for me.

Of course, I found out after the fact, that there was wine at the shop as well and that they have periodic wine tastings.  Junior thought that Senior might do well to attend and perhaps I can, the next time I hear of a tasting.  A very small collection, but well thought out for some interesting wines for them to sell, that are not found all over.  I mentioned to the people that were helping us out about missing the wine tasting, but they told us that they had a wine open that they were giving people a taste of.  We tried Cantina Pedres “Brino” Vermentino di Gallura DOCG 2017 from Sardinia, Italy.  The Mancini family has been in wine production in Italy since the late 1800’s and in 2002 they released the first wines of Cantina Pedres featuring the best of the grapes from Gallura, Sardinia.  Vermentino is also known by other names like Pigato, Favorita and Rolle and there is quite a bit of discussion of where the grape originally came from, but that is out of my realm as a raconteur.  Vermentino di Gallura is Sardinia’s only DOCG appellation and covers a large area in the north end of the island.  It was originally DOC in 1975, but was conferred as DOCG in 1996 recognizing the uniqueness of the wine.  The wine is aged for around four months in Stainless Steel to maintain the fruit, and it is a nice straw-colored wine that offers floral notes and finishes with some acidity and minerals.  I am glad to say that even as we finally left, there was no bouzouki strings in the background, and we will be back.

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Celani Family Vineyards Vincenza Rosé

It was a much quicker return to Rocky’s in Northville, then I had expected, but otherwise I was thrilled.  I mean it is a restaurant that my Bride and I have been going to, since from the time that we were dating, and that is about when they opened.  Of course, this evening was with my dinner club and I guess three of the members were impressed enough to go with Rocky’s.  As I have stated before, this club has been around since the late 1800’s, but like all clubs, it is having problems getting new members.  There was some concern, about a future meeting still in the current fiscal year that is going to short one-member host, and we had an emergency discussion and everyone may have to divvy up some money out their wallets for the next meeting.  I prophesized that a couple members that are always complaining about the rules of club and the expenses, will probably avoid attending the next meeting.  Alas, the club was always a gentleman’s club and I am sure that the original members and even those members that were in the club during the Great Depression would be aghast at the behavior and attitudes of some of these newer members.

As always, we had to walk past the big bear that greets everyone as they enter the main room and bar of the restaurant, and our group was meeting in the back, by ourselves and that is how we prefer having it.  Everyone remembered the hot house-made bread with scoops of soft butter in ramekins that was just waiting to melt.  The house salad went beyond just lettuce and a tomato that we sometimes encounter and the house-made dressing was Raspberry Maple Vinaigrette.  We had a selection of three entrées for dinner to choose from; a Breast of Chicken Piccata with Lemon Mushroom Caper Sauce, Rice Pilaf and fresh vegetable, Broiled Whitefish with Rice Pilaf and fresh vegetables and a New York Strip Steak, Red Wine Sauce, Mashed Potatoes and fresh vegetables.  Followed by coffee and Hot Fudge Sundaes.  I decided to go with the Whitefish, a Michigan staple and widely acclaimed especially if it is prepared properly and I knew it would be, as my Bride often times will order it, while I get something more hedonistic. 

Since some of our members rebelled about paying for drinks, drinks are now payable by each member, at first, I thought it was petty, but I found a silver lining to this problem.  A few of the members, when they were not being hosts would order exotic Scotch or Bourbon or even Cognac, but I always would just get a “well” Whiskey Sour or perhaps if they had something decent a glass of wine.  Now that it up to each member, two of us chip in and get a bottle of something really interesting like the Celani Family Vineyards Vincenza Rosé 2018.  I did have to do some selling to get this wine approved, because the initial thought was that is was “girly,” and we wine drinkers know better.  Vicki and Tom Celani are from Detroit, own the winery in Napa, and are regarded as philanthropists for certain charities in the Detroit area, and I have written about some of their wines at an event I attended some time past.  Tom Celani’s grandfather came to America and first found work at a mill in Pennsylvania and then moved to Detroit to work at Ford Motor Company.  One of his sons and then his grandson Tom ended up with a beer distributorship and it became one of the largest Miller distributors in the United States.  Tom’s first introduction to wine was helping his grandfather make wine at home, but then he discovered a true appreciation for wine, both overseas and domestically.  It is no surprise that he eventually found and bought a Tuscan-style estate with seventeen acres of grapes and one-hundred-twenty olive trees in the foothills of the Vaca Mountain range.  The wine was an estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé that was mouth watering with its refreshing taste.  Strawberries and rose petals wafted up to tempt the nose, after studying the deep pink color of the wine, and the wine delivered in spades, essences of strawberries, cranberries and red fruits with a layer of mineral terroir to make this wine an excellent dry finish and so satisfying.  In fact, I left my last share of the pour, to take home to let my Bride taste it, and she was as happy as she could be, since she was not with me for the dinner. 

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Bigalora in Plymouth

It was kind of like having two worlds colliding when we just decided that the dust had settled enough to try the latest location for Bigalora Wood Fired Cucina.  I mean we could almost be called stalkers, because we have been following Luciano Del Signore from his early days at Font D’Amore in Livonia to his breakout restaurant Bacco Ristorante.  Luciano is a dynamo, once his creative juices are pumping and he decided to break into the crazy world of the Detroit pizza scene, but not as a copycat, but with his own Pizzeria Biga, which later became renamed to Bigalora Wood Fired Cucina.  The word “biga” if you are a Scrabble player or a crossword fanatic refers to the starter for making bread or in this particular case pizza dough; flour, yeast water and time.  There are now five locations for Bigalora, six I guess if you call the seasonal location at Ford Field for when the Detroit Lions are playing or anything other type of performances at this venue.  I might also add that he entered in the hot food truck industry and offers catering and parties on almost any site and the trucks are fitted with the same Italian wood fired pizza ovens as he has at the restaurants.  Very shortly he will be opening up another restaurant where he will partner with the famed Japanese chef Takashi Yagihashi at the new Pernoi in Birmingham, Michigan.  It can be a full-time job, just dining at all of his locations. 

We ventured to his fifth location in Plymouth, Michigan which is one of the quaintest communities in the Metropolitan Detroit area with a great downtown and the center of the downtown is a big park.  The new location is where the old Box Bar was in Plymouth and it was an institution, they had remodeled the Box Bar some time ago and then some years later they decided to retire.  I am sure that part of the delay was just good old small town city politics, especially from some of the other restaurants; especially in the games being played out because of parking, but because he was adding a craft brewery as part of the business, there were even less tables and seats compared to the old Box Bar.  The dust settled at the new location and we decided to have dinner there, even though it was difficult to find parking, not just because of the patrons, but the City of Plymouth probably has forty of the fifty-two weekends with activities in the Downtown area.  We got in and got a table and ordered our food.  We started off with the Fried Shishito peppers done with sea salt, and even though they are fried, I would really call them roasted, because there is no oil and they are just great finger food while waiting for the pies and we had it with some of the Focaccia bread  which is the Bigalora dough, garlic infused oil, rosemary and sea salt.  We each ordered individual pies, which is what is offered and then split the pies.  One was the Bacco Sausage with house blend mozzarella, roasted onion, hot peppers and house made sausage.   The other was the Napoletana with house blend mozzarella, anchovy, capers and oregano.  The only let-down, and it really is not, is that my Bride always asks if the seasonal soup is the old Eggplant Soup from Font D’Amore, which I always called the Garlic Soup, because it was a puree of roasted garlic and roasted eggplant, and she is single-handedly trying to resurrect that dish back on the menu. 

I was thinking of doing a special on the Baia Estate Wines from Leelanau Peninsula that along with Arbor Brewery are two other businesses that have partnered with the dynamic Luciano Del Signore, but I think a discussion of his house wines may require a separate focus.  My Bride began with a split of La Marca Prosecco DOC NV. The wine is named after the La Marca Trevigiana zone in the heart of the Prosecco region of Italy. This wine was listed as being one of the “Top 100 Wines of the Year” by Wine Spectator magazine in 2007. Since this wine is from the Prosecco DOC region it is listed as using the Prosecco varietal, instead of the other name of Glera.  I snuck a wine in under her radar as she had missed it, but as this type of wine was being touted by another wine blogger that I respect, I thought we should try something different, and since Luciano had it on his menu, it was worth ordering a bottle of it, and my Bride like it better than her choice.   We were enjoying a bottle of CVNE “Monopole” Blanco Rioja DOCa 2017.  CVNE is the acronym for Compania Vinicola del Norte de Espana and one sometimes sees it printed or referred to a CUNE, I guess for ease of pronunciation. CVNE was founded in Haro in 1879 and has been family owned ever since.  The estate has one-thousand-three-hundred-fifty acres of vineyards, but that only accounts for half of their production, the balance comes from long term contract growers.  The wine is pure Viura and is done in Stainless Steel to keep it fresh and floral.  Viura is the local name in Rioja for Macabeo, one of the workhorses of Spain and is one of the main grapes used for Cava, and it is found in small quantities in the Roussillon region of France where is offered both as sweet or dry.  This wine was very fresh and offered flowers and citrus both in the nose and in the nice finish.  We were both pleased with the wine and with our dinner.

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The Last Night with the Vegas Crowd

It was a bittersweet night for us, as we met up with our daughter and two of her boys before they went back home.  We finally made it work for El Barzon, as the first time there was a black out in that part of the city, and that night it was interesting to see if “Driving in Detroit” would honor a blinking red-light intersection as a four way stop corner.  It kind of worked, but one had to be careful of the extra “half car” that was going to push their way through the intersection, because they were more important than the other drivers on the road.  I still kind of get amazed that this restaurant is now considered part of Southwest Detroit, because when I was growing up, that area was not considered it at all, but I know that I am splitting hairs, but boundaries have always been up for gerrymandering.  The last night it worked and we were going to have dinner there.  My thought was that I knew that they liked Italian food and I knew that they like Mexican (Tex-Mex) food, so it was a win-win situation. 

El Barzon is a very unique restaurant just from the cuisines offered.  The chef/owner came from Mexico with some of the great dishes from his region and he was a chef at one of the finest Italian restaurants that was in the Detroit area for some time; so, consequently he is excellent in both types of foods and that is what he offers.  I really figured that my grandsons would go with the Mexican dishes, because they like that so much when we are visiting them, but they decided to go with the Italian side of the menu.  Of course, my Favorite Daughter can rewrite any menu out there, and I kind of cringe to think how coddled she has made the boys in regards to the food offered in the real world, thankfully the odds are that I will not be taking them to the French Laundry.  My Bride and I made it a bit easier on our waitress with orders that had no substitutions, though I have to admit that I have made some menu alterations over the years.  My Bride had Spaghetti Puttanesca with Anchovies, Black Olives, Capers, Onions and a Tomato Sauce, while I always try to have a veal dish, because it is something we have never made at home; so I had Scaloppini al Barolo e Porcini, a Veal Scaloppini sautéed in a sauce of Barolo wine and Porcini Mushrooms.   The youngsters all had room for dessert afterwards as well.

As you may imagine, a thirst developed at least for my Bride and myself, as my Favorite Daughter was having pop, and probably something stronger later that evening when she got with her friends.  I selected a Nebbiolo from the Piedmont, namely Renato Ratti Marcenasco Barolo 2013.  Renato Ratti began by making Vermouth and Sparkling wines in Brazil, before going back to his homeland and purchasing property in the Piedmont in 1965 and now has eighty-five acres of vineyards in his estate, spread over different properties.   Renato Ratti Winery offers three different single-vineyard Barolos all with cru status and they are Marcenasco, Conca and Rocche dell’Annuziata.  The first vintage for the Marcenasco Vineyard was 1965, so, by now the vines have maturity to them, but there are ancient records showing that Nebbiolo was planted and growing in the Marcenasco region since the Twelfth Century.  The wines from this vineyard are aged in oak for two years before being bottled and I think the sweet spot for opening a bottle would be eight to ten years.  Just a nice heady wine that delivered some terroir and a little licorice in the finish.  One doesn’t have to be a genius to select a Nebbiolo based wine to go with a fine Italian dinner.  It may be awhile before we see the Las Vegas clan for a while, as we may be going later, as there is a rumor that some Bride wants to throw a graduation party for our oldest grandson next year. 

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A Day in Michigan

A day in Michigan with two of our grandsons from Las Vegas and we already knew that Michigan humidity doesn’t agree with them, of course when the humidity and temperature is high in Michigan, it doesn’t agree with Michiganders either.  The last time that they were here we took them to see the Detroit Institute of Arts and Greenfield Village, two of the premier tourist attractions in the area.  We have taken them to museums and similar venues in Las Vegas that they had never seen, and I think it is good for them to keep learning even by osmosis.  We decided that they should see the Henry Ford Museum, which is part of the recently named The Henry, which also has Greenfield Village.  Unless one actually visits the Museum, it is hard to believe all of the Americana and inventions that have been amassed under one roof, and not to mention the collections.  One does not usually see collections of trains, not miniature toy setup, but there was one set up that day, airplanes, trucks, automobiles, busses, campers, stoves, telephones and in fact, if you name it, it is probably there.  Some sad memories of our history as well, like the chair that Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated at Ford’s theater and also the Ford Motor Car 1961 Lincoln Continental convertible that John Kennedy was assassinated in.  The good news was that both of my grandsons knew those two presidents from school.  We also stopped and had a quick bite at Lamy’s Diner, an actual diner that emulates a dining car that was moved into the museum and originally only had prop food, but not offers some diner options.  I had to laugh at the kids, because they had never seen a menu with so few choices, three sandwiches, a soup and some desserts.  True to the concept of The Henry, the period restaurants offer period food and there were no foodies per se back in the days of the original diners, so no imagination, but edible.  We washed it down with Faygo pop, which is a great idea, since Faygo pop was a Detroit company and I went to high school with one of the granddaughters of the founders.  We also took them to see the Star Trek exhibit and made a film of them being teleported to another galaxy, though Star Trek was lost on them, just like a pair of high-buttoned shoes.

We then took them to Downtown Detroit, so that they could see Detroit with people on the streets, not as crowded as when I was there age, or as crowded as The Strip in Vegas, but people and activities and commerce.  We drove through some of the areas that are still blighted and then they also got to see how gentrification is working to save the city from the decay of just a few years ago.  They also saw what was left of the old Tiger Stadium where the field is still being used and it was that day and the businesses and condos that are now surrounding the field.  They also got a chance to see and feel the old brick road surface that is still in parts of Michigan Avenue that goes from Downtown Detroit to Downtown Chicago.  After walking around the downtown, seeing the stores, the two new stadiums and then down to Hart Plaza along the Detroit River we pointed out that across the river was Canada and the only point where Canada is south of the border.  We also took them out for dinner, in what can be the most argumentative subject in Detroit.  We were going to have Coney Islands.  If you are not aware of it, Detroit is famous for Coney Island meals, which is either a hot dog in a bun covered with a meat laden chili, onions and mustard or a Loose Burger, which substitutes fried ground round for the hot dog with the same toppings.  The kids have had second rate versions of this Detroit delicacy that they tried with their Mother in Dearborn, and I took them to try one at the D Hotel in Vegas, but it was a very poor imitation.  Side by side in Downtown Detroit with entrances on both Michigan Avenue and Lafayette Street are American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island and here is where the battle will begin.  When I was a kid, the two restaurants were owned by brothers and the employees between orders would step out on the sidewalk and twirl their towels in the air and try to persuade customers to enter one eatery rather than the other (and I may add that it was all in good fun).  American Coney Island is a beautiful emporium that has expanded into the old United Shirt Factory store and has updated and remodeled a couple of times and they have expanded the menu a couple of times; whereas Lafayette Coney Island is the same dingey diner with the same counter, some long community tables and a few smaller tables and the only addition to the menu was when they added French fries.  You guessed it, we ate at Lafayette, I mean give me a break, American has salads that they introduced to entice the Yuppies, the only thing I think Lafayette did was get a better refrigerator, because the beers seem colder.  The boys even were amazed at the quality of the hot dogs, they couldn’t put it into words, but a Detroiter will tell you that real Coney Island hot dogs snap when you bite into them.  I may get chastised for my selection, but I stand by it, as I have been going to Lafayette, even before I was going to school.

We finally reunited the boys with their Mother as they had someplace to go that evening and my Bride and I returned home, well fed, but tired.  I went into the refrigerator to get something to drink, since we were good guardians and I didn’t even have a beer with my Coneys at Lafayette   We had a bottle chilling of Good Harbor Vineyards “Tribute” Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2013 from the Leelanau Peninsula in Michigan that we had received as a gift.  The Simpson family were originally in the cherry industry in the 1950’s in the Leelanau Peninsula.  In the 1970’s John Simpson sent his son Bruce to the University of California – Davis to learn about viticulture and oenology.  In 1980 Bruce and his wife Debbie opened Good Harbor Vineyards and they were the fourth winery established on the Leelanau Peninsula.  They now have one-hundred-twenty-five acres devoted to Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Gruner Veltliner, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Zweigelt, Lemberger and Cabernet Franc.  The winery is now owned and operated by the second generation of Simpsons.  This wine was created as a “Tribute” to their father Bruce and the wine was aged in new French Oak.  This is a special wine from them, as the majority of their wines use Stainless Steel, and a couple of wines get very quick aging in French Oak.  I was surprised to find some Lemon Rind on the nose and on the finish and it was a very easy drinking wine that made the evening a bit easier without the kids. 

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She Returns

My Favorite Daughter returned for another visit back to her ancestral home in the Detroit area.  She was coming in a couple of days early before two of her three boys would join her.  My oldest grandson had to stay home, because the football training season had already begun and believe it or not Las Vegas takes their sports quite seriously, even when there is not betting involved.  I mean every student athlete and his family hopes that one will get a collegiate scholarship for athletics, but what ever happens, happens.   I am just amazed that all the sports are played in a dessert setting, and I discount what everyone says about it being a dry heat.  I would never want to be standing in my oven, and that is a dry heat too, and I have been in Vegas when it is 120° and it is hot.  My Favorite Daughter had a place to stay and had rented a car for this trip, so that she didn’t have to mooch off of her “old man.”

We had settled on a restaurant that she had never been to, and we gave her the address and we were going to meet there.  We actually arrived there before her, though we had a much longer drive (go figure) and due to storms a day earlier, the restaurant and the traffic signals were all out, so we had to call her, find another restaurant and we had to promise to be out by a certain time, which was fine for all of us.  We had gone to Mint 29 before with her, and just recently when her brother was in town, we took him there as well.  Somehow, even though I don’t fit into a “millennial locale” I was there again and survived.  I guess my mustache gets me an entre into these locations, because most of the men either look like they are foresters in the Yukon, or they have not discovered that one can own their own personal razor.  Mint 29 is an eclectic restaurant that has the modern feel and vibe to it, even though the structure was originally a bank and for as long as I could remember it was a music store where one bought vinyl albums to play first on phonographs and later on “sound systems.”  I call it eclectic, because it is a restaurant where one can get organic Kobe beef, fresh seafood and sushi, and for me two out of three is safe.  We just ordered a bunch of plates and shared.  They offered a French Potato Pancake Blini topped with Smoke Salmon, Crème Fraiche and Black Caviar.  A Seafood Ceviche of Salmon, Black Cod, Onion, Jalapeno and Avocado cooked in a Cilantro Citrus Marinade with house-made Tortilla Chips.  Tuxedo Seared Yellow-Fin Tuna that is Black and White Sesame Crusted then chilled and cut into thin slices served with a Green Seaweed Salad, Pickled Ginger, Cusabi and Eel Sauce.  Pan Seared Bronzini (Mediterranean Sea Bass) with shaved Fennel and fresh Grapefruit in a Lemon Beurre Blanc.  A Filet Mignon that my Favorite Daughter ordered which some point in time, she may lose that status, because she orders the meat butterflied and well-done, something she acquired from her Grandfather as he was from the Great Depression and I think that all meat was cooked well done to make sure that it was fully cooked, and it was also an option if one wore a hole in the sole of their shoes. 

We started off with Beckon Chardonnay Central Coast 2016.  Beckon at the moment makes Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines and is using fruit from the Central Coast and they are owned by Fetzer Vineyards of Mendocino County, California.  This wine is pure Chardonnay with ninety-six percent coming from Monterey and four percent coming from San Luis Obispo.  The fruit was pressed whole cluster and then aged for seven months in a mix of French and American Oak.   The wine offered green apples, lemon and a trace of chalk terroir with a creamy moderate finish.  The second wine was Belle Glos Pinot Noir Clark & Telephone Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Santa Barbara County 2017.  Belle Glos is known for their single-vineyard Pinot Noir wines and named after Lorna Belle Glos Wagner, the co-founder of Caymus Vineyards and the Grandmother of Joe Wagner.  The Clark & Telephone Vineyard is named after the intersecting roads in the Santa Maria Valley which is in the larger Santa Barbara County and is all planted with the Martini clone.  I have found this wine to always deliver a safe and dependable Pinot Noir from a well-respected wine-growing family.  We were looking forward to seeing two of the grandchildren when they arrived and more to come. 

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Le Siepi di San Giovanni

One of the pleasures of shopping and belonging to a wine club of a small independent merchant is that you are not going to see the offerings from the chains and the corner markets.  The independent merchant has to work harder, just by the very definition.   When I was a clothier, I would lament about how the department stores could sell stuff by accident, since they tend to avoid educated sales people for low-priced help that they can either mold into the corporate persona or dismiss rather quickly.  The independent slowly nurtures his staff and his clientele slowly, but surely.  At the Fine Wine Source in Livonia, I won’t find the wines that are produced in bulk, and in the case of the monthly wine club selections I will find wines that I may never had heard about, but that is OK, because if you are like me, you can be a creature of habit and reach for something that you know will be wonderful.

Societa Agricola Le Siepi di San Giovanni Sangiovese Superiore di Romagna DOC 2012 was the second offering for the month of August.  If you are like me, you may have never heard of this wine, but the estate of Le Siepi di San Giovanni is located in the Northern Apennines in the Santerno River Valley near Bologna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.  The Emilia-Romagna region is big and it is the only region in Italy that has an East and West Coast.  The Estate is owned by the Zuffa family and was started in 1960.  The Estate is forty hectares, but only eleven hectares are devoted to vineyards.  The wine is pure Sangiovese and was manually harvested.  I could not find out how long the wine aged for, but I was surprised to see that it is a 2012 and I have to surmise that it has to do with the fact that it is Sangiovese Superiore (even though I cannot find any rules pertaining to it).

The wine is touted as being intensely ruby red in color with fresh notes of mulberry and floral notes on the nose.  Slightly tannic with a peppery aftertaste on the palate, so all of you that know me, know that is not my way of describing wines.  Since the wine has some aging already, it should be ready to drink, and I find that Sangiovese pairs with plenty of dishes, at least all of the food I normally eat, like pastas and red meats.  So, I will give my notes later, after it has been uncorked. 

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