Yeah, you read that right, a wine for all times!
So we're just going to dive into this one because it's delicious and worth just diving straight in!
The wine I'm talking about is called a Montepulciano (Mahn-Tay-Pull-Chee-Ah-No) and it's phenomenal for the summer months (and the winter, spring, and fall months as well!)
Today I am going to focus on this beauty, Montepulciano D'Abruzzo, Gru (The Crane). So let's refer back to our post on Barbera and how when we see "D' " on an Italia wine, it will tell us where it's from, so here we know this wine is the grape Montepulciano from the region of Abruzzo! See? It's easy once you get the hang of it!
The grape in this case is Montepulciano, and it is grown pretty widely over most of central and southern Italy. It is the second most widely produced grape there, falling behind our good ol' friend Sangeovese.
Montepulciano can be heavy, deep and rich, but can also be, like this one here, a sunny afternoon relaxing in the Italian countryside, but in liquid form.
This particular wine is light, fresh, and refreshing. It pours a bright, crimson red. To give you an idea for the body of it, think of it as similar to a Pinot Noir; on the lighter side but not super thin. Getting to the title of this post, this is a wine that Italians will drink morning, noon, or night. I'll cover the second two before I delve into the fun you can have with breakfast wine, because, yes, you really can have breakfast wine!
Because of it's lighter quality, and slight fruitiness up front, this wine is perfect for picnics with little triangle sandwiches, or fresh fruit, or cheese, or whatever you bring on a picnic. Who knows, maybe you're someone who prefers rice and stew on your picnics, I don't judge. Either way. My two second summation of people looking at this wine at the shop I work at is "It is light and softly fruity up front, with low acidity, an ever so slight herbal undertone, and a super smooth finish." For an average of around $11 it's a great bottle!
Now onto dinner: The cool thing about this wine is that despite it's low tannins and fruit forward qualities, it has enough body and structure that it can still just as easily hold up to things like pork, veal, and even various cuts of beef.
Ok now the part we've been waiting for, breakfast wine! I want to preface this by saying I learned about this from one of the wine makers, and representatives for this company, so if an Italian man told me this is has to be true right?!
This wine is perfect for doing late morning spritzers! He was telling me how even construction workers will often take a break around 10am and do a 50/50 mix of this particular wine, and sprite, or some other lemon-lime soda. We tried it together and oh my word it is amazing! I won't go into this in depth right now but the reason this particular wine is good for this (because you CAN'T do this with many wines and have it be delicious) is because of the particular way in which the wine is made called Carbonic Maceration. I know, that's a big, scary, fancy word, bear with me. Carbonic Maceration is just a fancy way to say they don't crush the grapes right away. They are harvested, and then put whole into a large vat and left to sit for a while. Some of the grapes on the bottom will be slightly crushed as gravity plays it's part, but for the most part the grapes just sit there. What happens is that the juice inside will start to ferment inside the skins. The finished product has very low tannins, decent acidity, but needs to be drank soon because it doesn't have the fortitude to age for very long.
However, despite it's lack of aging ability, the low amount of tannins and bitterness, mixed with the bright acidity make it perfect for morning cocktails!
So go out to your local wine shop and look for Gru for all your summer drinking!
Drink on my friends!