Saturday, October 15, 2005
We went to a lovely Tuscan restaurant just off Park Avenue South the other night, Beppe, where the food was quite good. The wine list was interesting as well, since it is composed entirely of Tuscan wines. (Ergo few whites, and the wine steward discouraged anyone from ordering them.) I wanted a wine made from "indigenous" varieties, not predominantly Merlot or Cabernet. I ordered a Tua Rita Perlato del Bosco 2002, 90% Sangiovese and 10% Syrah. Young but smooth, dense in texture, acidity well in check (perhaps too much so), tannins pleasantly there, a slightly bitter undertaste and moderately long finish. A pleasant but hardly extraordinary wine. Not terribly full of character--quite international, it seemed as though it could have come from anywhere in the New World. This Tua Rita, which is not the top of their line, cost $74 at Beppe--a middle-of-the road price on their list--and if bought at retail would cost around $40 here in New York. To me it had all the earmarks of a suave $15-20 bottle. (Anyway, I'm glad to see that Beppe doesn't mark up all their wines as if they were luxury goods, rather than an integral part of the meal. Too many restaurants in the US still price wine very stupidly.) I have written elsewhere (www.aristide.biz) that "la salvezza viene dal Mezzogiorno." Or," salvation comes from the South" of Italy. Salvation in this case meaning both a delicious wine of character and a reasonable price/value ratio.