When Kacy and I were first thinking about re-branding away from Bad Sentences we thought a lot about what we wanted the new blog to be about. Yes, we knew it would be a blog focused on food and travel but it was even more than that. We had the shared belief that certain memorable experiences were part of the escape, and they could take place in your current city or even within your own home. Something as small as a bite of food or sip of a drink can transport your mind to another place.
This leads me to one of our simplest and most favorite kind of escape – wine. Drinking wine is truly an experience that can take you and your tastebuds off on an adventure. Inside every bottle is a story of where the grapes were grown, what the vineyard is like, and how the terroir and climate affected the end result. You can’t help but think about where a wine is from and what that place is like.
Although we have many favorite wine regions (Napa, Sonoma, Mendoza to name a few), Italian varietals are always a top contender when looking for our next bottle. (It’s also on the very top of our travel bucket list right now.) Recently we had a tasty escape with a bottle of L’Appassione by Sartori di Verona.
L’Appassione is an Italian wine blend of 50% Corvina, 25% Corvinone, 20% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon that comes from the Veneto region. Sartori Wines is one of Veneto’s “Big Five” wine producers and has been making wines for over a century. The Veneto region (located in the northern part of Italy that includes Venice) is actually the leader in wine production for Italy, and has 30% of the total DOC/DOCG production.
The wine is medium to full bodied and has notes of fruit and spice on the nose. I immediately thought that this would make a great pairing with a pasta dish to complete the experience. I wanted something with some tomato flavor but not necessarily a heavy red sauce. So I turned to a favorite recipe we use for a asiago chicken pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. It’s a nice recipe for getting some stronger Italian flavors that is easy to make and takes less than an hour to put together. (Looking for more cooking inspiration? Check out Village Bakery.)
The wine had a round and almost velvety finish that paired very nicely with the savory and slightly bitter flavors from the asiago and the sweet and tart touches from the sun dried tomatoes – the two most important ingredients to this recipe. In general, I tend to enjoy pairings that allow the stronger characteristics of both the food and wine to stand out on their own and this pairing hit that out of the park.
Although Kacy and I weren’t quite floating down a canal in Venice just yet, we were able to take a little escape abroad with our tastebuds that wasn’t too shabby for a weeknight at home. Plus, it never hurts when you can do it with an Italian wine that’s under $15 a bottle.
What’s a favorite tasty escape of yours that you can take without leaving your home?
Sartori di Verona provided us with complimentary bottles of wine in exchange for our honest review.