Diets, cleanses, and getting in shape after holiday bingeing, everywhere I turn, that's all I see: what you can do to make yourself better in the New Year. I can understand that I didn't need that whole bag of chips on Thursday night with my Chardonnay. And refined sugar, it's not necessary and I get it; one glass of Port after the chips and Chardonnay would have been enough. A little exercise? Okay, not a bad idea. However, living on salad in the northern hemisphere, in the dark cold of January just seems silly. It's winter. We need a little indulgence to make it to March.
I for one am going to be eating all the cheese I desire this month. I'm going to find sustenance in oven-braised meat, and I'll be warming myself with big, red wines. I'm starting with a bottle from Italy.
Refosco is a grape, from the north east of the Italy. It's known to be a little bitter, tannic and fairly acidic, but with bold, dark berry fruit. It's not for everyone, but I quite like the structure of Refosco alongside a little food. This bottle, Beltrame Rosso, is from a Vintages release and does indeed exhibit all of those qualities with something of dried herbs. Sipped with some Moroccan olives, sharp cheese and some patè, it's a nice match.
Wait until Spring people. Baby greens and asparagus will be followed by in-season strawberries, tender green peas and scapes. Salad is going to be a whole lot more appealing when the sun stays up past dinner time.
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