The joke in my corner of the wine world, which really isn ?t a joke, is that we call the Italian Wine Guy whenever we have an Italian wine question ? availability, recommendations, even what to order when we ?re in a restaurant (one of the best reasons ever for cell phones). That ?s because Italian wine is incredibly complicated, the most difficult subject in wine. Sicily has as little to do with Tuscany as it does with Paso Robles.
The wine guy, though, is always calm, always knowledgeable, always eager to help. I would not be as enthusiastic about Italian wine as I am without his wisdom ? the wine is out there, look for it, try it, don ?t be derailed or sidetracked by the hype and bluster.
The Cecchi ($13, sample, 13%) shows what I have learned. Frankly, it probably would have been exiled to the cases of sample wines that sit in the closet, never to be tasted, but for the wine guy ?s example.
It was an amazing wine, especially for the price, with layers and flavors I didn ?t expect. There was very little red fruit and an almost oregano herbal-ness when I opened it. Yes, it was balanced and interesting, but not quite there, almost too clean and austere. But then I had a sip after a bite of roasted pork shoulder with garlic and rosemary, and it did what every great wine is supposed to do ? give more of itself. The food brought out cherry fruit that hadn ?t been there before, as well as richness and complexity that made me almost gape in amazement.
Highly recommended, and another reason why Italian wine offers so much value for so little money.