Montepulciano D’Abruzzo is a wine I once purchased often, and I always enjoyed it. It was a reliable choice to pair with pasta and sausage dishes, or Caprese salad. I would buy it by the case, usually Masciarelli. It was my house red wine. Then, perhaps around 2008, I lost my taste for it. I am not not sure why this happened; it was not a conscious decision.
One evening a friend was at my apartment for dinner and asked me if she could have a glass of Masciarelli. When I told her I did not have any and offered her a Syrah instead, I realized that I had not purchased a Montepulciano D’Abruzzo in months. C’est la vie.
I thought of the above Masciarelli story a few days ago, when I picked up a bottle of the producer’s 2012 Montepulciano D’Abruzzo and decided to drink it with some lamb chops and ratatouille I was preparing. As before, the wine was pleasant to drink, and my guests thought it went well with the courses. The Masciarelli is a medium-bodied wine, with lots of red berries, a hint of tobacco and — to my surprise, as I hadn’t tasted any in a few years — a faint touch of wild mushroom. Alcohol is at 13 percent, and the tannins are smooth.
It’s 100 percent Montepulciano, and if you’ve never tasted it, go ahead and pick up a few bottles. I found it at Randalls for $10.