Easy Summer Italian Reds: A Trilogy – Part One.
To coincide with Brian’s IPA Trilogy, this is the first in a series focusing on light, easy red wines from Italy that are just perfect now that it’s anywhere between 70-120 degrees outside. Sure, there’s nothing to stop you from drinking a monster Cab clocking in at 15% ABV while the blistering sun burns your skin, but a delicious, refreshing red barely hitting 13% ABV is more our style in the summertime, when the livin’ is easy—and Italy is particularly adept at making wines that fit the bill.
Everything we know about Sicily we’ve learned from The Godfather, right? Okay, that is SO wrong. It’s actually highly unlikely that you might end up getting whacked in Sicily, as it’s one of the safest parts of Italy. Play by the rules, and nothing will happen to you… Of course, Sicilians consider themselves Sicilians first and Italians second, and maybe that’s why this island paradise south of the boot of the Italian mainland makes such distinctive wines not found anywhere else in the country. Frappato (fra-PAH-toh) is one such wine. And PLANETA, a pioneering winery of the Sicilian region and a great innovator, makes an exceptionally delicious, distinctive and lively Frappato that comes from the renowned region of Vittoria, Sicily.
The 2015 bottling is alive with bright and fresh notes of cherry, rose, pomegranate and strawberry. Pinot Noir-like in qualities, but leaner, lighter, cheerier and breezier—fruit forward, aromatic and enjoyable in its Jolly Rancher candy-like flavors. Charming too, like a bare-chested, attractive Sicilian fellow flirting with you on one of the many sandy beaches of the picturesque Sicilian coastline. Best served slightly chilled, this is a wine that says permanent summer vacation. Good Frappato is always affordable, and it’s an escape from the daily grind, a don’t-worry-be-happy red. It’s an al fresco wine, made for the great outdoors and for the delightful times you’ll remember and reflect on when the rain, sleet or snow is pounding on your window in the year ahead… –J.M.