A Red that Tastes Great Chilled

— by Design presents dsmDining —

Above: All is not lost with the world. Valpolicella has gone from dismal to delightful. This fact gives us hope — and thirst

By Wini Moranville 

If you were of age in the ’80s, you probably drank Valpolicella at some point. It was the quintessential fruity, light, easy-drinking red that many of us enjoyed with pizza and pasta before we graduated to drier reds, like Chianti.

Sadly, most Valpolicellas were not very good at all. Famed wine writer Robert Parker once deemed them “industrial, insipid garbage.”
In recent years, that has changed. For example, New York Times wine writer Eric Asimov wrote: “The winemaking renaissance that has occurred throughout Italy … has also come to Valpolicella. With new seriousness of purpose, many producers have rededicated themselves to [the wine].”

Because Valpolicella tastes great chilled, summer is a great time to rediscover this red. I recently tried the Tommasi Rafael Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2014 ($20) and immediately got back on the Valpolicella bandwagon. The hints of spice amid luscious cherry flavors bring a touch of refreshment, and its medium body helps it stand up to hearty barbecue foods. And forget what everyone says about serving this “lightly” chilled. Chill this baby completely; once you take the bottle outside, it will warm a bit to perfect drinking temperature.

Ingersoll Wine and Spirits (3500 Ingersoll Ave.; 515-255-3191) can special order the Tommasi Rafael label for you, or point the way to other good examples of Valpolicella.
Wini Moranville covers food and dining for dsm. Follow her at All Things Food – DSM Wini Moranville.

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