30 August 2006

2004 Piccini Chianti

Based on a warm review from the local wine merchant, I purchased a bottle of the 2004 Piccini Chianti, a steal at $9. It's full DOCG and is made from Sangiovese and Canaiolo. I drank it with some spinach tortellini covered in a freshly prepared alfredo sauce. I added a handful of diced fresh tomatoes and a healthy dose of basil to punch up the flavor. Top it all of with some grated grana padano, and man that was tasty.

The wine has classic Chianti aromas and flavors, but fortunately it escapes the pitfalls of other bargain Italian reds. I'd highly recommend this for any casual Italian dining.

A note on tortellini... I ate handmade tortellini in Italy frequently. The sign of a good trattoria in Tuscany was often an elderly woman in the back corner tenderly tucking little rounds of pasta and filling into delicate shapes. I was spoiled, and didn't eat it much upon my return, finding disappointment at every turn. I've never attempted to make it by hand over here, but I've tried various frozen and fresh varieties without much luck, but finally found an imported Italian version from Gia Russa. (You won't see it on the site, but here's the product.) It's dried but not bone dry; the pasta is slightly flexible. Yet it doesn't have to be refrigerated. Boil for eight minutes, drain, and serve with the sauce of your choice. I'm keeping the leftover pasta and sauce separate, in case I decide to make a nice Bolognese sauce tomorrow.


Edward said...


It is my humble opinion that behind every great Italian restaurant, is a little old lady (usually mother of the chef) who is making the homemade pasta!

Anonymous said...

I opened a bottle of this last night for dinner. At $6 (I'm not telling you where!) I thought it was a good value. Better with food than alone. The price puts it right in the sweet spot for everyday, just because table wine on my budget.