Local wine expert, educator, and owner of Libation, Inc. – Francis Fecteau – teams up with Caputo’s Market & Deli periodically for fun food and wine (or whiskey, beer, etc.) pairing classes. One of the most popular classes is called Tour of Italy, in which Francis pours Italian wines to sip while Caputo’s Director of Education, Adrianna Pachelli, shares her vast knowledge (with wonderful wit) of Italian cheeses, chocolates, olives, salumi and such. At a recent Tour of Italy class Francis poured an exceptional wine called Russiz Superiore ($31.99).
Russiz Superiore is made from 100% Cabernet Franc from an estate in Italy’s Collio DOC, in that country’s northeastern corner which borders Slovenia, between the Julian Alps and the Adriatic Sea. It’s a hidden gem of a wine region and the grapes for this particular wine are grown in soil with layers of sandstone, clay and limestone.
Aged for 12 months is French oak barriques and an additional 6 months in the bottle, this Cabernet Franc is complex and well-structured, not to mention age-worthy. With Russiz Superiore, winemakers Alessandro Sandrin and Roberto Felluga created a wine that opens with aromas of Kalamata olives and black cherries. Take a sip and you’ll find a full-bodied Cabernet Franc with that grape’s telltale spiciness, along with black cherry, plum, black pepper and currant flavors. I would serve this excellent Italian wine with hearty dishes such as osso bucco or beef daube.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.