It was just over a year ago that executive wine editor Ray Isle recommended Brusco dei Barbi in his column for Food & Wine magazine (click here for his review and tasting notes for last year’s release).
He called it one of his favorite wines to pair with wild boar dishes and he couldn’t have been more spot on: This classic expression of Sangiovese from the Tuscan coast, with a little bit of Merlot added to the blend, was conceived for rich dishes just like the ones that Isle describes. It’s light and fresh on the nose and on the palate and its juicy fruit flavors seem to jump right out of the glass.
But the thing that really takes this wine over the top, especially when you’re looking for a crowd-pleaser to serve at a large holiday gathering, is the super price (generally below $20). When you’ve got a lot of hungry and thirsty guests coming over, you need something that won’t break the bank.
It’s a crowd-pleaser, yes, but it still tastes like Tuscany: Some say that it reminds them of the wines you used to find in the osterie of another era. As much as he loves his Brunello, Fattoria dei Barbi owner and winemaker Stefano Cinelli Colombini always reaches for his Brusco dei Barbi when he sits down for a meal at the estate’s Taverna dei Barbi.
Happy holidays, everyone! Enjoy!