A number of years ago, I was in a quandary about what wine to drink with a complex Charlie Trotter recipe -- a dish I was making for a special dinner at home. A very knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly fellow at the 300 East Wine Store in Salt Lake City, Ron by name, gave it some thought --- and made a suggestion. It was spot-on.
The wine he recommended was one I hadn't heard of before: Falesco Vitiano. But, since then, I've turned to this economically priced wine on many, many occasions. It's on sale this month in Utah for $10.99 per bottle, normally $13.99.
Falesco Vitiano is a red wine from a winery that sits on the Lazio-Umbria in Southern Italy. It's a blend of equal amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese, made at Falesco's family-run winery. Winemaker Riccardo Cotarella is one of Italy's most well-known and respected winemakers, and even consults for a producer in Bordeaux.
This is a surprisingly elegant wine for the price: a ripe, fruity red with nicely balanced plum and berry flavors, hints of chocolate, soft tannins, and accents of sweet French oak. Wine Advocate's Robert Parker called Falesco Vitiano "an amazing value," and I don't disagree. Stock up while it's on sale.