I'm fascinated by the wines of Mediterranean islands, and one of these days I'll rent a boat so I can wander around and sip from Balearic and Maltese and Cypriot bottles*, but for now I'm revisiting a Sardinian wine I first tried in 2008.
2007 Argiolas Costera
Serdiana Cagliari, Sardinia
92% Cannonau, 8% Carignano and Bovale Sardo
$20, 14% abv.
Lots of bright red cherry, good acidity, a brief finish and a spicy aftertaste. Little touches of fig and prune after it's had a chance to breathe for a few hours. I decided to serve the wine with a few odds and ends that don't really make a lot of sense together, but tasted amazing. There's slow-cooked and wilted red Swiss chard, tiny purple potatoes, a few slices from a roasted pink and rare T-bone, and a dollop of orange-tinted chipotle aïoli. It was a rather chromatic dinner, and not just because the addition of some pepper vinegar made the greens a little sharp.
The photo does not do it justice, but it was an amazing meal full of vibrant colors, flavors, and loads of vitamins. At some point you look at a plate of steamed chicken breast and white mashed potatoes and think, "Life's too short for this."
The flag of Sardigna/Sardegna features the classic heraldic Maure or Moor's head, which over the years has faced both directions and has sometimes been blindfolded instead of bandaged. Why do I use the flag of Sardinia instead of Italy?
For the blog's style guide, I use different flags for the various American states of the Union. For foreign countries, I use the most up-to-date internationally recognized version of the flag. For contested regions like Kashmir or Nagorno-Karabakh, I'd probably just skip the flags to avoid the hate mail associated with trying to say something nice about the local cuisine while showing, for the reader, the wrong flag.
I will not use soccer/football flags ever.
Europe presents an interesting quandary. Italy and Germany really weren't solidified countries until the 1800s, rather a collection of duchies, principalities, kingdoms, republics, city-states, and various other geopolitical formations. And I can't really write about Scotch while electronically flying the Union Flag (not the Union Jack), so I amended the house style to allow for some different regions. In the past I've used the flag of Sicily, and my reasoning for Sardinia is the same: islands that have a lot of unique history and identity outside of the parent country. I'm thinking that in the future I'll break out Alsace separately with its own flag. Not for any political or historical reasons, but more that when it comes to wine and food it's not quite France, not quite Germany, but it's own wonderful place.
At the end of the day, as writer, editor, photographer, graphic designer, and publisher of this blog, I can engage an interest in vexillology to the degree that it does not alienate readers. And as long as it's consistent, I'm happy with the little additions to the wine/food posts.
*This sailing fantasy is going to involve an eyepatch and a truly fearsome red beard. However, I shall sail under the flag of The Conch Republic and offer key lime daiquiris to all friendly visitors and blunderbusses to those who try to board without permission. If the day to day maintenance of my vessel becomes too much, then I'll send my wharfies into Cannes to press-gang a few drunken celebrities thinking they're going to enjoy a party on a yacht. Arrrr!