The Meat Lovers’ Choice

The Meat Lovers’ Choice

An exciting 'junior Brunello'

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Some of you may be familiar with “Bistecca Fiorentina,” Italy’s version of Kobe beef. Both these items have one thing in common: Neither country has much land for grazing, and beef needs lots of land. That’s why, in Italy anyway, beef is a rarity. It’s a treat for meat lovers, which begs the question, “What to drink alongside?” Brunello producer Il Poggione has this suggestion: Rosso Di Montalcino. Having tasted theirs, I heartily agree. Although Brunello itself can be thrilling, the price tag and the years necessary the in bottle to be ready for drinking can be a stumbling block. But a junior Brunello in a great year can work wonders, and this Rosso certainly does. I was skeptical, but I think you might be dazzled as well. (By the way, I think a New York strip steak from King’s Red & White Super Market will do just fine!)

2016 Il Poggione Rosso Di Montalcino $27

Translucent garnet in color. A deep, lovingly ripe nose of violets and roses on the saturated bouquet. Earthy, a bit mushroom/loamy with a sweeping dignity suggesting unsweetened chocolate and leather. Ethereal, balanced and “modernly” accessible. Flavors are smooth but densely textured and rich. Elements of dark berries and a non-fruity depth of flavor persists with a long, lingering aftertaste. Red meat, a mushroom casserole or an eggplant Parmigiana would be fitting. Drink now -2021.

92/100 points

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Arturo Ciompi
Trained as a classical clarinetist and conductor, Arturo plied his trade for many years in New York, performing with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, the American Symphony and countless chamber music groups. While living in Durham, Arturo became the wine manager at two iconic gourmet stores: Fowler’s in Durham and Southern Season in Chapel Hill. He had a wine spot on NPR in the ’90s and has been a continuously published wine journalist since 1997. He has won national awards for his work and is currently writing for Durham Magazine and its weekly blog, “Wine Wednesdays”. In addition, he loves teaching the clarinet. Read more on his website.