Thursday, October 6, 2011

Exploring wine: Sangeovese

Three Fox Vineyards, Sangeovese, $less than $20
My rating for this bottle: I would drink a few glasses

Over the summer my parents were in town and we went out into the Virginia countryside to go wine tasting. We visited a few vineyards that day including Three Foxes Vineyards. The vineyard is situated at the top of one of the areas rolling hills with the tasting room outside under a tent. This was the last stop on our journey and we were immediately impressed by the picnic tables and hammocks dotting the property. This was a place people came to to grab a bottle for the afternoon and spend time with friends and family. 

The tasting flight consisted of 10 wines for $6. It was a great way to get to know their style of wine making. That day the best one we tried was their Sangeovese. Three Foxes boasts to be the first Virginia winery to use this central Italian grape. In the hot, breezy weather this strawberry tasting wine hit the spot. It was fresh and bright, perfect for a picnic or with a pasta dish.

This was my first Sangeovese and from what I've read they taste bright and fruity when they are young and then more smokey, cherry, and chocolate-y as they age. Perhaps this would be a good wine to drink after a few years. In Italy, the grape is often used to make blends; for example, you find it in a Chianti. I was surprised to find it in Virginia and more surprised that it was actually good. 

We bought a bottle and opened it a month later.We drank it while we were watching TV on the couch. It tasted differently than I remembered. At home in front of the TV it didn't taste nearly as dynamic and fresh as it did outside on the rolling hills. It was sweeter, almost too tart for my palate.

I've heard wine enthusiasts say that when and where you drink wine matters. I didn't believe them until this experience. It's true that the environment around the wine, as well as the food, really changes it's taste. Each bottle is going to be different because it changes as it ages. Have you ever experienced this? Do you agree?

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