Canalegrande 2003 Barbera & Bonarda Italian Dry Red Wine ($18.50)
The simplified front label sells the wine identified in more detail on the back as "Azienda Agricola Podere Casale Gutturnio dei Colli Piacentini DOC 2003." By any name it's a fine Italian red from the Po River valley south of Milan, a blend of the familiar Barbera and the not-so-familiar Bonarda grape, the local name in Lombardy for Croatina, a different variety than the Bonarda of Piemonte. All this may help explain why they wanted to simplify the label. It's a very dark wine, blackish-purple at the center, clear garnet at the edge. Fresh berries make for an appetizing aroma, warm and ripe; on the palate, mixed-berry fruit is shaped by tart, lemon-squirt acidity in a wine that, like many of its Italian brethren, is made to go with food. US Importer: J.K. Imports, Pasadena, Calif. (Feb 7, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: The wine would do well with a variety of red meats, poultry and cheeses. I matched it against an offbeat pasta creation, shredded chicken in an Alfredo-style sauce accented with smoked Cheddar and a hint of chipotle peppers over fettuccine.



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