Earlier in the year, we had our themes for the group selected and October was slated as a focus on Abruzzo. I tracked down this bottle of 2013 Lunaria “Coste di Moro” Montepulciano d’Abruzzo before I knew that samples were available.
Then I received three bottles - Citra Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOP 2017, Caldora Montepulciano D'Abruzzo 2016, and Passerina IGP Terre di Chieti 2017 as samples - and my official post will be the pairing of Scrippelle 'mbusse + Ferzo Passerina. But I still wanted to share a little bit about this wine ahead of the actual chat.
The first thing that struck me was that this is a DEMETER-certified wine. This year we've been exploring biodynamic wines in several of our wine blogging groups. DEMETER is an international certification for products produced using biodynamic farming methods. Biodynamic parameters are much more rigorous than straight organic farming. Having been formally defined in the early 20th century, biodynamic winegrowers and winemakers aim to care for the planet and regenerate the soils by employing fertilizers and preparations based on medicinal and mineral plants, by respecting the rhythms of the Earth and the cosmos.
I'll be honest: I appreciate learning about biodynamic practices and I truly respect wineries that are following those practices - whether they get the certifications or not - but the designation is not a guarantee of a "good" wine, in my mind. This one happens to be a very good wine!
A 100% Montepulciano wine, from the Orsogna vineyard, this bottle retails at the very affordable price of $15. In the glass, this wine pours an almost inky black with cherry, cocoa, and toast on the nose. On the palate, it's warming yet tannic with a rich nutty finish.
I could see this with a salumi platter or a pasta with a meaty sauce. But, on the night we were going to pour this, we decided to break out the grill and make some simple skewers.
We did a combination of beef with a balsamic marinade, pork rubbed with pesto, and chicken with a citrus drizzle. All seemed to work well with the wine, but the pork with pesto was my favorite. I used cilantro and pistachio instead of the traditional basil and pine nuts!
- 2 C fresh cilantro
- 1 T caramelized shallots
- 1/2 C raw pistachios
- 1/2 C shredded parmesan
- juice from 1 organic lemon (I used Meyer lemon because we have a tree in our backyard)
Place all of the ingredients into the blender. Pulse a few times, drizzle in olive oil, and resume pulsing. Pulse. Oil. Pulse. Oil.
If you want a smoother, sauce-like pesto, add more olive oil and blend longer; if you want a chunkier pesto, use less oil and blend for less time. So simple. So fresh. So fragrant.