448 Common Street
Belmont, MA
617-489-WINE (9463)

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Wine Pairing

Wines: 2016 Castello Colle Massari, “Rigoleto”, Tuscany, Italy
Regularly $15.99, Special Price $13.59

Cheese: Piave Vecchio, Belluno, Italy
Regularly $17.99/lb, Special Price $14.39

If you go southeast from Bolgheri or due south from Chianti, you’ll come across one of Italy’s newest wine DOC’s – Montecucco. Founded as a separate DOC in 1998, this is in the warmer southern region of Tuscany that is bounded by the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west and the extinct volcano Monte Amiata to the west. This land provides a fantastic mix of micro-climates and terroirs that make a perfect setting for the growing of wonderfully ripe grapes. And while the DOC is new, wine has been made here since the 8th century… B.C.

Named for a river on the property (not the Opera), the winery is perched on a hillside over 1,000 feet above sea level. From here, the fruit is sourced from a number of vineyard sites to take advantage of different vineyard expositions and soil types to make a wine that really speaks to the quality of the region itself. Rich and sultry with aromatics of dark berries, crushed flowers, and toasted walnuts, the palate continues with plenty of dark plum, black cherry, and balsamic elements. With a firm tannic structure of fine-grained tannins and a long finish, this is a wine that really delivers a lot of satisfaction for a very friendly price. I’m thinking that a bottle of this served alongside some braised short ribs would be just about perfect.

The details: A blend of Sangiovese with tiny amounts of Ciliegiolo and Cabernet Sauvignon, from organic hillside vineyards around Cinigiano. Soils are a mix of sandstone, clay and marl. Fermented in stainless steel and macerated for approximately 15 days, the wine spends a minimum of 15 months aging in a combination of neutral barrel and stainless steel before bottling with no fining or filtration.

Piave Vecchio is a cow’s milk cheese made in the Piave River Valley region of Belluno, Italy. Shaped as a wheel, it is made from pasteurized milk collected in two milkings, one of which is skimmed, and is produced in the valley of the Piave River, between Belluno and Feltre. It is made by a dairy cooperative called the Cooperativa Lattebusche. Piave has a dense texture without holes that is straw-yellow in hue. It has a slightly sweet tasting flavor. Once fully aged, it becomes hard (making it well suited for grating), developing an intense, full-bodied flavor. Piave’s rind is impressed repeatedly with the name of the cheese.

Piave is sold in the United States as a hard cheese (called Piave Vecchio or Stravecchio, meaning “old” or “extra-old”) at which point its taste resembles that of a young Parmigiano Reggiano. It pairs well with traditional Italian dishes such as risotto and polenta, and with beautiful full bodied red wines such as this 2016 Castello Colle Massari.