Friday, December 14, 2007

Good Bargain Gone Bad

As you might remember from earlier posts, Sangiovese is our "house" wine. So, during a trip to a large liquor store, I bought a bottle of a 2004 Castello di Monastero Sangiovese Toscana IGT.

At less than $10 per bottle, I thought I had snagged a bargain to enjoy with our rustic Italian meal.

Upon opening the bottle, we noticed an amber to brown color, a sure sign of bottle age or oxidation in a red wine. Normally, you would not see this color until the wine was more than 3 years old, or if it was kept in less than ideal conditions. This was a BIG clue as to what aromas and flavors we would encounter.

The characteristics 0f clove, strawberry, plum and violet aroma were still present, but the taste was thin, weak and acidic to the point of vinegar-like.

Needless to say, the bottle was returned to the merchant for a refund. (Hint: Keep those receipts for a couple of months!)

To learn more about how the color of wine changes during bottle aging, check out this link:

In cooking it is said that you first eat with your eyes. Let color be your first impression of the wine you are pouring.