The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Ca dei Mandorli and Begali

Posted on | October 14, 2015 | Written by Garrett Kowalsky | No Comments

Garrett_8.6.14_72dpiDessert wines do not get enough respect. It has been my experience that we heap praise upon the grand dry wines of the world, both white and red, while leaving little time or attention to the sweeter side of life. It’s true that I have never seen someone turn down a glass of d’Yquem, but too often I see people turn down a sinfully good glass of sweet wines at events. Maybe the answer is that there is a lot of plonk out there that has ruined people’s perception of dessert wines, and if so, I have a couple of remedies to get you on the right track! These two sweet endings are not only delicious, but they are also affordable.

Ca dei Mandorli 2014 Brachetto d’Acqui $22.00

If you could bottle the joy from a summer picnic—the bright sun, cool breeze, red blanket, laughter and smiles—this wine might be what it would taste like. Bright strawberry in color and in flavor, what really makes this wine is that it contains a light effervescence that allows it to dance across your palate, hitting every corner and making you smile. It’s vibrant, full of life and pairs excellently with any number of pastries and especially with a raspberry (or any red berry) and chocolate cake. Drink for the next half-decade.

Begali 2010 Recioto della Valpolicella Classico $49.50

Born from the same region as Valpolicella and Amarone, this wine also focuses on the grapes Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. And just as Valpolicella dries its grapes for a few weeks and Amarone for a month or so, the Recioto style requires that the grapes be dried for an astoundingly long time—up to two or three months! This drying allows the sugars to concentrate, and the resulting wine is a deep purple color with rich flavors and texture like velvet. Pair this wine with cookies or a chocolate ganache and dive into decadence. Drink now to the end of the decade.

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