I know we always hear about the ongoing search for foods and wines to match each other and produce winning teams of balanced flavour. We hear of the surprising matches between Chinese food and Gewürztraminer, where the floral, spicy profile in the wine matches the intense, concentrated flavours of the Chinese sauces, as well as Riesling and pad thai. but I am tonight enjoying a wonderful paring on a bit of a budget. Pizza for £3 and a bottle of wine for £7.99.
After a long day working in the shop, slowly recovering form a sinus cold and the aches and pains of a 14-hour day traveling to and from a trade-tasting in Manchester, I was feeling rather exhausted. I just wanted to sit down, have something simple to eat, something relaxing and simple to drink and perhaps write a note to my readers. In the divine scheme of things, my plans seem to have worked out and here I am, with a nice, hot cheese pizza and a glass of wine which I consider nearly perfect for the occasion.
|Simple, inexpensive and satisfying.|
It's simple, it's rustic and it has all those aromas and flavours of sour cherries and perfume which defines good, classic Italian wines. As I consider this wine, I think about all those wines meant to imitate the long-lived high end Bordeaux, made with international grape varieties blended with native grapes, and part of me wonders why bother?
Of course, it is natural that a wine maker would want their art to achieve the highest level possible, and to produce something long-lived, with the ability to develop complexity and become a work of art that only time can create. However, it should never be deemed to be a superior style of wine. The blend of grapes here shows that the origins of this Biferno are in the soil and the native grapes grown since the Etruscan era. It harkens back to the days when a wine maker could have cared less about what the names of the grapes were that went into his blend, so long as it came out right. It was an organic process and one that developed over centuries and perfected itself, with the human element only complimenting, never dominating.
As I sip it, and munch happily and greedily on my pizza, I reflect on my appreciation for the humility of certain wines. As kith and kin to a farmer's brew of cider, it is perfect to pair with the simple pleasures of the Italian larder. It makes me think of the satisfying life-style of the Italian peasants of another era sitting down in the evening hours on the hillside overlooking their fields and drinking from the wine skin. For that reason, needing something to sit back and relax, this sort of wine does just the trick.
I highly recommend, for a truly satisfying, rehabilitating night in, find a friend, get a pizza, split a bottle of wine and just chill out.