It was a minor special occasion in the 3AM household yesterday, so we decided to pop open a special bottle of the special wine we've been keeping in our wine cabinet.
(We have a wine cabinet because we're neither hoity nor toity enough to have a wine cellar. Although, to be fair, our wine cabinet is in the basement...)
The wine wasn't expensive and it wasn't really exotic. Not a vintage that you would find on a list of the World's Most Famous Wines.
What made it special was that we bought the bottle of Avignonesi Bianco during our tour of Italy way back in 2001. It was our last big trip as DINKs. The last time my wife and I threw in with our "gang" our hang-out friends, cashed in our frequent flyer points and took off to show the bella vita in Tuscany.
And what a great trip it was. From arriving in Paris, the overnight to the Ligurian Coast, then two and a half weeks soaking up all of the art, culture and fermented Tuscan grape juice we could stand.
One of the biggest highlights of the trip was a totally spontaneous and unplanned trip to the Avignonesi winery. We just dropped in, unannounced, and were treated to lunch and a tour by the manager and daughter and of one of the owners. we left a couple of hours later with a couple of cases of wine.
One of the last bottles of which we opened last night.
The Bianco di Toscana is what the Tuscans would call a table wine. A blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, it's meant to be enjoyed immediately. As I pulled the cork, I was concerned that we had waited too long to drink it. It's been nearly 10 years since it was bottled, after all.
But it held up from the first sip. The color was more golden that I had remembered and the flavor was excellent, pears and some apricot. A buttery flavor emerged after 15 minutes or so. The it paired will with the tilapia fillets we had for dinner, and even better with the Honeycrisp apples we had on the side (though it was absolutely retched with the Chocolate Teddy Grahams we had for dessert).
Anyway, the point is it was a great eventing with the family, made even more special by reliving good times.
I still recommend any of Avignonesi's offerings. Though I don't think they make the Bianco anymore, if you can find their Rosso and especially their Vino Nobile go ahead and pick up a couple of bottles. You could do a lot worse.
tagged: wine, Italy, Avignonesi, tilapia, honeycrisp, food, Teddy Grahams