Hurricane weather calls for wine


For someone who usually can’t sit still at home, a hurricane is actually a welcome distraction.  As Sandy continues to barrel through the NYC metro area like a woman scorned, I’ve taken refuge in my apartment and decided to make the best of it. It’s amazing how productive a random day off can be, makes me think the four day work week is long overdue for the always connected corporate crusaders we all seem to have unknowingly become.

So far, I have made oatmeal (and not the instant kind), organized my home office, cleaned my bathroom, enjoyed my friend’s homemade chili for lunch, organized my closet, shredded  a pile of paper, whitened my teeth, and watched Sunday night’s episode of Boardwalk Empire! And it’s not even bedtime yet.

I probably should have held off on the teeth whitening as I am about to unwind from all the day’s activities by enjoying a glass of Chianti. I wrote about Chianti a few months ago, but Chianti can vary so much that you can never try enough, as there’s always great new finds, and unfortunately disappointing ones as well. The wine I just uncorked tends to be of the former kind, and the perfect bottle to enjoy on this cold stormy night. Who knew wine could be your own private event, but the 2008 Nipozzano Riserva Chianti Rufina, made up mostly of Sangiovese grapes is that kind of Chianti. I’ve been looking forward to this all day for good reason.

My empty glass fills with the deep purple hued treat. The endless Italian legs on this give way to the many aromas I get on the nose.  I inhale everything starting with black cherries, plum, black currant and layers of spice. Some pepper and vanilla and a hint of coffee but not too overpowering. This Chianti is smooth and well balanced. The mouthful of fruit is elegant with just the right amount of tannin for an easy drink and a medium to long and pleasant finish. Though it goes down easy it’s not shy on the alcohol count at 13.5 percent.

There’s a bit of “chewiness” to the wine and I’d love to pair this with a rigatoni and short rib ragu if only the Italian trattoria a few blocks away would send a delivery boy out for me in this treacherous weather. As far as I’m concerned, there should be an oath for food delivery personnel, much like that of the postal service- “neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow,” isn’t it?

The Nipozzano Riserva Chianti Rufina 2008 is brought to us by the historic estate and Frescobaldi family which is said to be quite a remarkable estate set in a castle in the Tuscany region.  If this Chianti is any indication of what else is to be found in the area, I will definitely put it on my list of must sees when I return to Italy, as I am way overdue for a visit. If you’re looking for a Tuscan tryst, I mean “treat”, then pick up a bottle of this and do yourself a favor and take a “mental health” day off in the near future. Don’t save it for the next hurricane as good wine should be savored and not always stored.

The added treat is that this won’t set you back too much at around $22 a bottle. You can pick it up at wine master retailer Sherry Lehman at 505 Park Avenue in Manhattan or log on to if you still have power and order it now so you have it in time for the weekend.



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