My sister, her husbdan, and my brother drove up from San Francisco/Oakland this evening. I fixed a simple pasta (I LOVE Ag Ferrari dried pastas!) with a putanesca tomato sauce. Sister made a nice salad.
My sister requested a Rochioli Pinot Noir for Christmas. they were sold out, but St Helena Wine Company recommended a Merry Edwards Russian River Valley 2004. The QPR was pretty terrible (I won;t admit what I paid for it ), but this was a very nice, austere Pinot. It tasted somewhat light, but still nicely earthy. Good cherry Pinot fruit, and it lacked the flowery note that I personally dislike in Pinot. Except for the price (50+), this non-Pinot Lover would buy this again. ***1/2
Ironically enough, at another shop I stopped at, they had a Pinot made by the Rochioli winemaker using their (Rochioli) grapes. So, my sister got this one, too. We drank them in a set of Italian wine glasses she bought for me, so I scored, too
With Pasta, you have to drink Chianti. So, I opened a Gabbiano "Alleanza" 2000 IGT which was advertised as a joint venture between Gabbiano and the Beringer winemaker. I thoroughly enjoyed this Chianti blend. The blend was 70% Sangiovese and 30% cab, but to my palette, the Sangiovese was definitely up front. Somewhat light, with nice black cherry fruit and quite a refreshing hit of chianti acidity. Still, there was a nice leather/tobacco finish and the back palette was quite "dark." Very good. ***1/2