Most Italians still recall with fun the 1980s TV commercial promoting an after-shave lotion with the catchy slogan: “For the man who never needs to beg”. Time has passed and, nowadays, an elegant but determined red #Wine is definitely a much better Christmas gift for the “macho” of the new millennium. The online wine store #Libiamo proposes three reds deserving attention: a mountain wine scented of burnt wood, a gay (no pun meant), lively Tuscan and a brisk, organic Sicilian wine. If you are lucky enough to try them all during the same evening, alongside good courses and trustworthy friends, you will experience the most amazing supper.
Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG by Gulfi, Sicily (13%)
A top-tier organic red wine from Sicily, made with Nero d’Avola, the king of Sicilian grapes, and Frappato, an indigenous vine from Ragusa. Strength and gentleness, austerity and frivolity unite in an unconventional, dazing embrace.
With a bright crimson color, the Cerasuolo expresses refreshing sensations of watermelon, wild strawberries and tones of candied fruit. The palate is light, with fleshy fruits, delicate tannins; reasonable alcohol content (13%) makes it even more drinkable.
Praised by Terry Kirby on The Independent: “The Cerasuolo has aromatic, vibrant and intense dark fruits, with lovely clean acidity” (22 March 2015).
Fancy a rich pizza or pasta for Christmas in lieu of turkey? We suggest pairing the dish with a bottle of Cerasuolo.
Valle d'Aosta DOC Fumin by Grosjean (Italian Red Wine), Valle d’Aosta (13%)
Fumin is a grape grown primarily in the tiny and mountainous region of Valle d'Aosta, at the border with France. Fumin by Grosjean is an extremely particular wine that calls for some experience to be appreciated in full.
The colour is deep rubin with a crimson glare. On the nose, Fumin reveals intense fruit fragrances recalling ripe blackberry and blackcurrant, immediately “resumed” by spicy notes and with enticing tones of scorched wood. The tannins are quite dense and the finish is rather prolonged.
A special wine, as said, different from all the others; accordingly, it should be served to charismatic Christmas guests. It pairs perfectly with robust fare: red meat or feathered game; but smoked cheeses and well-seasoned cured meat will also be positively enhanced by this indigenous wine.
Maremma Toscana IGT Ciliegiolo Vallerana Alta by Antonio Camillo, Tuscany (13.5%)
For the first time, this Christmas you should consider to set the Chianti bottle aside and try a less-mainstream, but equally worthwhile, Tuscan wine: Ciliegiolo.
Ciliegiolo is a red grape harvested in Central and North-Wester Italy, rather neglected outside Italy in the past decades, but now growing in popularity - particularly in the UK.
In a glass of ruby-red wine, cherry and berry aromas fluctuate jointly with spicy tones and a soft note of wood in the back. In the mouth, tannins are of medium intensity, silky and fine-grained, with a well-balanced acidity and a fair saltiness. The finish is long and persistent.
When you are uncorking this wine, remember to call your most voracious friends. Mostly recommended with straightforward, grilled red meat or aged cheeses.
A wine set including these reds can be a good idea for a Christmas gift to a wine loving man!
Gulfi Cerasuolo, Grosjean Fumin and Camillo Ciliegiolo are available on the online wine store Libiamo within the Rossi Top Italian Wine Selection or even singularly.