Il Passo Segreto Appassimento Sangiovese
Confession time. Off-dry reds like this 2017 Il Passo Segreto Appassimento Sangiovese are not really my thing but it’s hard to think of a more romantic looking bottle and if you’ve got a sweeter tooth than I have (not hard) you’ll love it.
It’s also got a sexy Italian name though appassimento doesn’t actually mean passionate but refers to the process of making a wine from dried grapes which concentrates the flavour and sweetness. Think of it like a mini-Amarone or a slightly drier port.
You could have it with steak or lamb but personally I’d enjoy it with a selection of cheese, particularly hard and blue cheeses, grapes, figs and cherries - and maybe the odd chocolate. Which is perfect for V Day cos you don’t really want to cook, do you? And at £8.50 (from Tesco) it’s a really good price
If that doesn’t appeal and you want a drier but still voluptuous red I’d go for a pinot noir - probably one from New Zealand as that’s where I’ve just come back from. It could be from Central Otago, or Martinborough but I was impressed by the pinots from Nelson and Marlborough too this time, especially from the family owned Neudorf. If you can run to it buy the Moutere* though the 2016 Tom’s Block (available from James Nicholson in Crossgar, Northern Ireland for £22.50 and Waitrose Cellar for £25.99 if you’re in no rush, is a gorgeous pinot for the money and would be great with duck - and cherries as you'll see from this week's Match of the Week. Neudorf’s chardonnays are lush too.
* Also available for £42.50 from Berry Bros & Rudd if you need to get your hands on a bottle in London
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