Masi 2000 "Modello" Rosso delle Venezie ($8.99)
This wine is dark garnet with reddish-purple glints. Characteristic dried-cherry aromas over a background of caramel and brown-sugar scents shows its kinship with Valpolicella. Full, dry and tart, its flavors are consistent with the nose, dried cherries and lemony acidity. It's on the simple side, but appetizing fruit and cleansing tartness build its credibility as a food wine. Despite the conventional wisdom about serving red wines warm, a light chill from 45 minutes in the refrigerator does this one no harm on a hot summer evening (but don't serve it ice cold). US Importer: Remy Amerique Inc., NYC. (Aug 4, 2003)

FOOD MATCH: Fine with beef, from burgers to prime rib, but this Northern Italian red's natural affinity with tomatoes gave fine service with a meatless summer "gratin" of fresh veggies topped with barely cooked tomatoes and goat cheese run under the broiler.

WEB LINK: http://www.masi.it/

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