Wednesday, January 16, 2013

for the righteous?

2008 Ruffino Serelle | DOC Vin Santo del Chianti

A Christian wine? Or a wine for Christians? And no, it's not just a sweet wine ... few other oxidative wines made from dehydrated grapes show so much character and excitement. Like all great things, defying generalizations and common perceptions.

I like serving sweet wines with dinner. With savoury dishes. Maybe some of the pleasure comes from just messing with my dining companions' preconceptions of what constitutes a table wine - the whole it's sweet and therefore must only be drunk with dessert. Or maybe I'm onto something, and sweet wines with the savoury creates fireworks on the palate. I can't tell you what you should be tasting, but the reference to dessert wines still drives me crazy. It just implies that the only time to be drinking these bottles is at the end of the meal right? When you're already stuffed and they bring out some sugary confection, do you really want to drink something that competes with that? What's the alternative? Plenty, in fact.

This wine is a great example of why 1) we should drink more sweet wine and 2) we should drink more sweet wine over dinner. The aromas are fabulous, all dried dates and mineral elements, at once honeyed yet fresh. Certainly an oxidative character, but the palate is where Vin Santo shines. Very balanced, with the acidity rising up on the finish. Tingly and tangy and just all that. Drink it with Chinese food, drink it with pork. I'm not trying to convince you so much as just stating a fact that yes, these wines shine brightest on the dinner table.

Wait, so if we're switching sweet wines to the middle of the meal, what do we drink with dessert, if we're having any? Sweets are unhealthy and overrated, because really, sweet is the most infantile of tastes. But if we're having dessert - most likely because we want to make our pretty lady happy - what do we drink? The tricky bit with sweet wine is simple, really. Simple because the one that is less sweet loses. So, sure bets? Sparkling wine - Champagne preferably - is always a winner. Gets you energized, makes you think of things you shouldn't be thinking about. Something lean, something fresh at the end of the meal, after the cheese and before the coffee. 


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