The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Go-To-Wine Tuesday

Posted on | May 24, 2011 | Written by Andrew Miramontes | No Comments

I try to cook dinner as often as possible; in fact, my roommate from college and I try to get together at least twice a month and put our chefs hats on.  My being the wine guy of the duo presents me with the challenge of selecting the wines to go with the menu, which I spend ample time doing.

One very important thing I feel people overlook when in my position of chef/sommelier is what to drink while cooking.  It has to be something delicious that doesn’t necessarily need food, but that will go with the food if you are tasting to make sure your flavors are spot on.  One other thing to consider is that it needs to be at a price point that will prevent guilt from setting in if you happen to improvise and sacrifice a splash or two to enhance the meal.

This past weekend’s drinking/cooking wine was the Muri-Gries Lagrein Rosso 2009. For those who don’t know, Lagrein is genetically related to the more well known varietal Syrah.  It shares many qualities with its cousin, but what sets it apart is its higher natural acidity as well as higher toned fruit.  It is a native varietal to northeast Italy, and it thrives in its cooler climate, making very rich and vibrant wines.  Muri-Gries has fashioned a textbook Lagrein that was perfect for our cooking; it was extremely fresh and floral while maintaining a rich and full body with ripe fruit and very soft tannin.  Luckily for us, no sacrifice was needed for the cooking process and we had some left over for our meal of chicken and rice (my buddy forgot to pick up the broccoli).  At $21.40, this wine is one that we could have drunk all night long.

Now we know, and isn’t knowing is half the battle?

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