Have you watched “Stanley Tucci: in search of ItalyÂ»On CNN? No? A word of warning before you begin: don’t watch on an empty stomach.
My wife and I learned the hard way when we recorded the first episode and watched it at 2 p.m. the afternoon the next day. Twenty minutes later, we were making a batch of pasta as if we were being constrained by some invisible force. The invisible force also demanded wine.
Since then, we haven’t learned to watch Tucci’s exploits until after Friday’s family meal was over. It works well because our long-standing Friday night tradition, inspired by the Tucci film “Big night, Â»Is focused on Italian cuisine. Whatever Mushroom risotto or homemade pizza, our Friday evenings include some wine for cooking, some wine for eating and now, some wine for Tucci.
Here are six wines from Oregon and Italy to revive your own âBig Nightâ tradition.
2019 Cora Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
I don’t know who Cora is, but I love the wine she inspires. This humble red tastes and smells of tangy red cherries with hints of almonds, leather and spices. It’s a fresh, easy wine that will pair well with tomato-based sauces covering everything from pasta to pizza. Best of all, it’s modestly priced and has a screw cap for instant gratification.
I found my first bottle of Cora at P’s & Q’s Market for $ 13. It won’t be my last.
psandqsmarket.com or 503-894-8979.
Wines on a flat board 2019 ‘Not Cringey’ Primitivo-Zinfandel
Flat Brim owners Ian and Becky Atkins are on to something good with this blend of primitivo grapes and southern Oregon zinfandel. Big, rich flavors of Himalayan raspberries and blackberries swirl with small chunks of freshly cracked black pepper and aged balsamic vinegar. That’s a lot of wine for $ 18.
False Track ‘Pizza Sauce’
Here’s another $ 18 bottle of wine that offers too much quality. Winemaker Jesse Skiles is a blending magician, as evidenced by this eclectic blend of Malbec, Grenache, Syrah, Pinot Noir and Viognier from all over Oregon. The fruit comes from the 2016-2019 harvest, hence the lack of vintage attached to the wine.
Scents like blueberry, bittersweet dark chocolate and violet give way to flavors of raspberry, white pepper and a touch of savory. Highly recommend the Skiles sauce with the fennel sausage, kale, parmigiano-reggiano and rosemary pie that Sarah Minnick spins Beautiful fifty-fifty on North Mississippi Avenue.
Sparkling wines Spaghetti Western Wine Co.
After a year filled with raging wildfires, ravenous waffles and a global pandemic, Shelby Perkins and Peter Harter decided a little lightness was needed. The duo known for their serious wines Perkins Harter created a second label, Spaghetti Western Wine Co., for a pair of $ 23 sparkling wines called âA Fistful of Bubblesâ and âThe Good, The Bad & The Bubblyâ.
These western spaghetti bubbles would have even made Lee van cleef crack a smile. They’re sparkling, frivolous, fun captured under an unpretentious soda cap. âA Fistful of Bubblesâ is a sparkling white pinot noir. âThe Good, The Bad & The Bubblyâ is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
âA Fistful of Bubblesâ is bursting with scents and flavors like crunchy yellow apples, tropical fruits, lemon zest and buttered toast. It goes perfectly with an aperitif plate filled with an assortment of pickled vegetables, cheeses and cold meats. Get in the saddle and go find some.
perkinsharter.com or 707-540-1847.
2018 Occhipinti Il Frapatto Sicilia
When I read that Arianna Occhipinti was scheduled for the episode of Tucci in Sicily, I was ready with a bottle of her superb frapatto.
Frapatto is a Sicilian grape that produces beautiful red wines that are positively ethereal. The Occhipinti version is the bar by which I measure all the others. It’s a ballerina with bright red cherry slippers leaving dried rose petals in her wake. Small traces of orange peel, pine needles, chalk and dried marjoram are equally convincing.
If you like Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs with a lighter, tangy body, you should definitely try the Frapatto. Occhipinti wine is available for $ 41.90 at Vinopolis Wine Shop.
Once your Occhipinti wine is secure, watch the sixth episode of âStanley Tucci: In Search of Italyâ. If you take a closer look, you might see your bottle soaked in red wax.
vinopoliswineshop.com or 503-223-6002.