Friday, February 18, 2005

Sangiovese Wine:


It's Raining Sangioviese:

Puff Daddy on a fat cigar,
Big red cherry and the scent of fresh smoke,
Left field on the glow in the dark wood arch,
Twist the knob just right it's all very fine,
Old lost legends from time out of mind,
Piano trinkets dance on cello and violin carpet,
Spring is on and long, long ball gowns are out,
Apple blossom left and cherry blossom right,
Finally got over it all and closed our eyes,
The darkness was quiet once more,
Forty Six was still way too close,
But after the party was over,
There was so much to grieve,
So much to be thankful for,
People were torn to shreds between,
Heaven and Hell both pulling like Clydesdales,
Until the vines were picked clean by a tornado,
And everyone put out pots and pans,
Instead of filling them with tears,
It was raining Sangioviese,
Blood red deep and delicious,
Tilt your glass and dance,
And get a lid on the rain barrel quick,
If it it ever stops,
Or so the legend went...


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 05/28/2003

Author's Comments
Just watched The Pianist on DVD. How incredibly much the survivors had to mourn and celebrate at the same time. All of them, everywhere. Sangioviese is a very full flavored Italian wine that is a knockout with pork or barbecue. It is also mixed with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon to make Chianti. Americans consume one in three bottles of all sangioviese produced, and it is primarily a wine of Tuscany, which is where my grandfather Gino (Nono) was from.

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Food to Eat with a Sangiovese

The Sangiovese is the grape of Chianti, the great red wine from Tuscanny. It had a rich, deep flavor with medium acidity that goes well with almost any red meat game. It is not a great wine like a Hermitage or a Chateau Lafite but this medium bodied, very drinkable wine will enhance the flavor oa any game.

History and Characteristics

Montalcino is Tuscany's premier wine-producing town and the Sangiovese has been grown here for over 700 years, almost since time immemorial. It makes a perfect drinking wine suitable with game and particularly the rich ripe flavors of Italian food. Americans love the pure Sangioveses from Montalcino, buying about one of every three bottles produced in recent vintages. (Annual production of Brunello is about 6 million bottles.) And we pounce on great vintages, making the 1999s especially attractive.

Sangiovese is the workhorse grape of Chianti and Italy's leading variety. It is medium bodied with a firm, dry texture and a tannic backbone that allows for moderate aging, a dozen years or more with full-bodied styles, though five to eight years is usually the optimum. Sangiovese has a floral bouquet, which many describe as that of violets, something I've never noticed myself. Cherry aromas and flavors may evolve into leather and tobacco with age. Throughout there is a touch of earth and always that zing of acidity.

Transported to California, it has a wonderful harmony of fruit, tannins and acidity that make a great Sangiovese so striking. Most are very close to drinking well when they are released. They are aged a minimum of two years in cask or barrel, then another two years in bottle before they are shipped from the cellars. This long maturation helps refine the wine to a degree greater than what is achieved with, say, California Cabernet or Bordeaux, which in general spend no more than two years in barrel and another six months in bottle before they are released.

"Today's Brunellos have a lovely freshness and beautiful fruit that give you great pleasure right away," says Guerrini of Fuligni. "That's our strong point. The wines have slightly lower acidity and the tannins are much better now. The wines are really good from the beginning."


Inycon Sangiovese, 2002, Italy 6 Sicily is becoming a major player in exporting to the UK now. First we had the excellent Planeta wines now we have a new barrage of wines including this one, with a stolen grape variety from Chianti! Ripe blackcurrant and chocolate with some soft tannins, very good. £4.99 (WR)

We opened a bottle of the 2000 on Saturday. It was closed and had a very strange nose for about a half hour after decanting. Then it opend up into the beautiful wine I expected, very forward with plummy sangioviese fruit. perfectly balanced with a very nice finish. More sangioviese then cabernet in the mouth and on the nose.

I compare it to the Segerretta Belguardo 2001 because in our market the prices are comparable. Very much nicer (the Campaccio) for immediate drinking.


Generalising, Old world countries produce classic wines stemming from the country’s indigenous individuality and the classic grape varieties. For example, Italy’s Tuscan flagship wine is Chianti, made from Sangioviese or Bordeaux classics are blended from the noble grapes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.


Wineguy's Notes
Italy produces more wine and has a greater diversity of grapes varieties than any wine making country in the world.
Italy is as diverse in its wine making as it is in its culture. Today we are reviewing Italian Wines at the Olive Garden.
Spumante (Sparkling)

7)Chianti Classico, Riserva Rocca delle Macie Rocca delle Macie just means fortress of littles stones and their
winery is literally a fortress of little stones. This Chianti Classico is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and
Merlot. Chianti Classico means that it comes from the oldest and the best district in the Chianti Region.
Lambrusco, Riunite
Rosso, Principato


Tenuta Col D'orcia / Tuscany

Founded in the 18th century, this highly acclaimed estate in the Montalcino Commune, south of Siena, Saint Angelo, Colle, produces Tuscany's finest wines from Sangioviese and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.


616 Tinto Don Miguel Gascón Don Miguel Gascon Sangioviese $ 14.00

My absolute favorite Sangioviese:

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Flying Fish...

I saw the sky in gun metal grey,
There were dots over the horizon.

Lost on the floating scales I was dreaming,
Soaring over water like spirits in the morning mist,
Silent-eyed souls like flying fish.

I sat at the table by warm candle light,
Red wine with a halo refraction on the tablecloth,
The glare of silver was not as bright as my soul in that moment,
There was a lifetime smile across from me speaking in silence.

It wasn't so much the what as the when,
All the silent ghosts hovering,
Taking this or bringing that for their evening,
I wondered at being their servant in my turn but was un-trained,
Thinking my wishes for how to someday thank their flight.

I never look down my nose,
I might miss the flight of fish,
Those who make our life so much more graced,
Little reward in terms of respect in many cases,
I speak my "thank you" at every possible passing,
Because I recognize it takes every kind of fish to make my ocean live.

The flight of fish to my table is all the evidence I need.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 02/09/2005

Author's Comments:
This poem is dedicated to waiters, to busboys, to maids and shoe-shiners. To every one of those whose time and effort makes our time and efforts possible. if we had to handle everything they do ourselves, we'd never be able to do much of what we do. At every chance i make sure to thank them, and make them know I appreciate what they do. We were out for my birthday dinner tonight and this point was once again brought home to me very clearly. I wrote about the celebration here: - so I though I'd write about those who helped make it wonderful up there, where the poem is.

Words are the mind's bridge - it's connection to all the universe.
Love is the heart's bridge - it's connection to all other souls.
Loving words can work miracles.

Dan's Birthday 2005

I had a wonderful birthday celebration in 2005 - in recognition of some of those who helped make it so, here's all about it:

For my Birthday in 2005:

Just before I went to sleep this morning, my mother and father in-law Sally and Leonard
called and wished me a happy birthday. Thank you, Len & Sally!
(Yesterday was their 54th anniversary. Happy anniversary, you two love-birds!!)
PS: They sing a pretty good "happy birthday to you."

When I woke up this evening, I had a very nice happy birthday message from my
step-son Dan on my phone. Thank you, Dan!


(Click on the menu above to go to Catch Thirty-Five's web site.)

I had the Catch 35 crab bisque to start, followed by the blackened mahi-mahi
with andouille sausage etoufèe sauce. Saren had the seared Chilean sea bass
with Hawaiian ginger-scallion sauce. With dinner, we each had a glass of the
Charles Klug Napa Valley Merlot wine, which is a heavy red wine. Dessert
Was Signature Key Lime pie for Saren & the AWESOME Triple-threat chocolate
cheese cake for me. The food was OUTSTANDING.
(Of course we each had generous samples of the other's desserts!)
Catch Thirty-Five was kind enough to give me the cheese cake on the house
for my birthday. Thank you!

(Thank you to our friend Tom for the gift certificate to Catch Thirty-Five!!!)
A just as big THANK YOU to my beautiful wife Saren for everything else!

I was wearing my flying fish Hawaiian shirt from our
Florida coast tour, with black leather jacket. Saren
was wearing her purple shirt and funky necklace from Chico's,
and we both looked very festive and hopeful for the coming
Spring weather.

My brother Jeff and then my sister Lana and her daughter Ariel called me
while we were at dinner to wish me happy birthday! Thank you, Jeff, Lana, and Ariel!!

After Dinner:

Quigley's Pub image
(Click on the picture to go to the Quigley's web page)

We went to Quigley's Irish Pub and had Bailey's & coffee while I had a big
La Gloria Cubana Serie R cigar.

La Gloria Cubana Serie R cigar
(Click on the cigar to see more about these.)

The La Gloria Serie R is a seven inch by 54 ring guage. I had the natural
wrapper rather than the maduro.

While we were at the pub, there were quite a few people there speaking in
British accents and drinking Guinness Stout. We almost felt like we were
on an evening out somewhere in Ireland or England. Everyone was cheerful and
having a good time. We reminisced about visiting friends and helping our friend
Holly move into her new town home. My sister Lori and her fiancè John called
while we were here to wish me a happy birthday! Thank you, Lori & John!

After Quigley's, it was time to come home and tell you all about it...

Thank you to my friends, Art Paul, Eric, and Kat for the birthday e-mails.
Thank you to my brother Larry & his wife Patty for the cool birthday presents like
the "What The Bleep" book and everything. Thank you to my Honey Saren & our
friend Tom for the Awesome Elvis cards, and to Tom also for the "Outlaw Bible
of American Poetry".
(I'm reading a little bit of that every day, it's got some very interesting work in it.)

My friend Luis & his wife Cece will be celebrating with me this coming Saturday, and
We had an awesome Japanese steak & shrimp-flipper dinner at Yao Shue's this past
Saturday with our friends, Paulie & Cheree. (It was Cheree's Birthday on Feb. 7th)
After dinner we went back to their house and sang karaoke until way late.
Happy birthday, Cheree! Saren & I both had a great time.

Thank you to all those of you who called with kind birthday wishes and
who I wasn't able to think of at the moment I was creating this page!

It's all the wonderful friends and family like you guys that make each year
worth reaching. I hope we all have many more years in each others' lives.

Dan Stafford

I'm sure there are some of you that I've not gotten on the page, but thank you to all of you!