Varietal of the Month: Toscana IGT Red Blend

Blended red wine from the Tuscany region of Italy is known as Toscana IGT. This verifies the grapes were grown and the wine was made in Tuscany. IGT stands for indicazione geografica tipica, which in English, means “typical geographic indication.” It is a quality seal issued by the Italian government that specifies the type of grapes and winemaking method used for that classification of wine.

Toscana IGT blends are made from a combination of Sangiovese and Merlot grapes. Sangiovese is the most predominant grape grown throughout Italy. Although it is believed that the climate and geographical terroir of Tuscany creates the best Sangiovese wines. Adding Merlot to the Sangiovese gives it a richer, darker color and depth of flavor.

Wine of the Month:Lucente

Lucente is the result of a selection of Sangiovese and Merlot grapes grown in the area of Montalcino in Tuscany. The Luce estate and vineyards are favored for their rich geological structure and ideal climate.

The wine is a deep, brilliant color with purplish highlights. Lucente impresses for the cleanliness and intensity of its wild berry and jam bouquet with highlights of tobacco and light spices, which are found again on the palate, enriched by a delicate toasted note. Measured, silky tannins provide a wonderful roundness and a persistent finish.

Food Pairings:
Red meat, strong-flavored cheese, charcuterie, red sauce and pasta.

Puttanesca Sauce

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic
3 anchovy filets, chopped fine
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (28 oz) can San Marzano tomatoes
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

In a deep skillet over medium heat, add the oil, garlic and anchovies. Sauté until golden for about 2 minutes. Add the capers and stir to combine. Swirl the tomato paste into the mixture and let caramelize for about a minute.

Add the canned tomatoes and all their juices and use a wooden spoon to crush the whole tomatoes. Stir in the Italian seasoning, red chili flakes and olives. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Add the fresh parsley and remove from heat. Toss with cooked pasta to serve. Makes 3 cups.

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