As I point out in the introduction to today's Wine Lovers' Voting Booth, one of the curious - and perhaps frustrating - things about wine is that some of the conventional wisdom about its appreciation falls into the realm of misconception or myth, and it can be challenging for the newcomer - and even, sometimes, the expert - to sort it all out.
In the Voting Booth (see link below), we'll offer you the opportunity to cast your vote against the misconception that bothers you most. First, though, let's devote today's article to a quick deconstruction of the 20-plus "myths" that our volunteer advisory panel suggested as some of the most common and enduring:
Now, to cast your ballot for the myth you consider worst (or to enter a fill-in-the-blank option if you prefer), click to the Voting Booth,
If you would like to discuss these and other wine myths in more detail, you're welcome to join the conversations in our Wine Lovers' Discussion Group,
For today's tasting, let's follow up on Friday's suitable-for-Valentine sweet Greek red with a traditional Italian red dessert wine from the Veneto. Recioto, like its dry sibling, the noteworthy Amarone of Valpolicella, is made from ripe red grapes that are air-dried (using large industrial fans in modern times), turning them into raisins to concentrate the fruit and sweetness before they're pressed into wine.
Mazzi 1997 "Le Calcarole" Recioto della Valpolicella Classico ($16.99/375 ml)
This clear, dark-ruby wine offers characteristic Valpolicella aromas and flavors of spicy dried cherries. Ripe and sweet but with appropriately tart acidity for flavor balance, it adds an attractive bittersweet quality with abundant dried-fruit nuances in a long finish. U.S. importer: Vintner Select, Cincinnati, and other regional importers; a Marc de Grazia Selection. (Feb. 8, 2003)
FOOD MATCH: Thin-sliced Parmigiano Reggiano makes a traditional and delicious accompaniment for this dessert wine.
VALUE: Not cheap but appropriately priced at this level.
WHEN TO DRINK: Enjoyable now, but strength and sweetness will hold it for years under good cellar conditions.
WEB LINK: Mazzi's Website is available in Italian and English. You'll find the English-language fact sheet on its wines, including the Recioto, at
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Last Week's Wine Advisor Index
The Wine Advisor's daily edition is currently distributed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (and, for those who subscribe, the FoodLetter on Thursdays). Here's the index to last week's columns:
A sweet Greek Valentine (Feb. 7)
Caution: Wine humor ahead! (Feb. 5)
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (Feb. 3)
Complete 30 Second Wine Advisor archive:
Last week's Wine Advisor Foodletter: Mastering the omelet (Feb. 6)
Wine Advisor Foodletter archive:
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Monday, Feb. 10, 2003