Gabbiano 2000 Chianti Classico ($11.99)
Dark ruby, with a reddish-orange glint. Bing cherries and "brown" spices in an appetizing aroma that leads into a ripe and juicy fruit flavor given structure by a tasty tang of acidity, not sour but refreshing. Not overly complex and a bit on the fruity side for an "Old World" Chianti, but it offers an excellent example of the warmth and food-friendliness that makes Chianti special. US Importer: Beringer Blass Imports, Napa, Calif. (Feb 4, 2003)

FOOD MATCH: Breaking the stereotype that Chianti goes only with tomato-sauced dishes (although it does so very well), it was a delight with a fricassee-style chicken and onion dish based on a Marcella Hazan recipe.

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