Chianti Traditions: Nipozzano Riserva
It’s nearly impossible to come close to logging all the Italian restaurants that have reliably delicious Chiantis on their wine lists. Consider one of these, the ever-popular Nipozzano. Fortunately for us they have recently made their “Riserva” available at many bottle shops for an affordable price.
In fact, many restaurants routinely include the “Zano” on their wine lists for over $50, and this often puts it into the “I’ll try it at home if possible” category. In other words, if the wine costs more than a couple entrees, many of us are tempted to settle for something more affordable ($30 or less) and pick up that pricy choice later at bottle shop for more reasonable $$.
So for $24.99 at Phoenix area Total Wine outlets, this puppy is looking better all the time. Sure, you’re going to miss the ambience of a nice restaurant, but this is the perfect chance to sample this classic without shelling out extra.
As with many Chianti wines, this one starts out with a bouquet of mellow, yet spicy, cherry but there are also traces of raisin and tobacco to add to its allure. Then, the finish is somewhat of a surprise for a wine from this region, exhibiting well-defined soft tannins with just the right amount of food-pairing acidity plus some dark fruit and spice on the finish. Nipozzano remains a classic, no matter what.
Enjoy with a lighter veal dish with or without heavy sauces. You may find the Zano a better meat pairing partner than many other Chiantis, which tend to be better pasta companions. Veal Scallopini here we come!
Serve after 20 minutes in the fridge (about 65 degrees). There is no need to over chill, the spicy undertones must be allowed to come forward and it will also be of benefit to let this selection open up a little in the glass first.