By Murray Schulman
It crossed my mind recently that in most things, men differ from women. That particularly applies to shopping. Women may go shopping with a specific item in mind. Yet, they browse the entire store or mall or shopping center. I know this because every once in a while, my wife requests my company on one of these eternal excursions. Yet, I must admit that I have the same tendencies. These tendencies do not encompass general shopping. But, drop me off at a great wine shop, one of those mega wine and liquor stores or a winery with a great retail section, and it is over. I shop, sometimes for hours, looking for no specific item, but just looking for anything that may catch my eye. Maybe, in certain situations, men and women are more alike than we may care to admit.
The truth is that when I go shopping for wine, it is a pleasure trip. I talk with the wine department people in the stores. I exchange a few words with other shoppers and I look for something that may catch my eye and my interest. I am beginning to understand that shopping can be fun if the venue is loaded with great products to eat and drink.
This brings me to a recent discovery. I wanted a couple of bottles of wine to go with dinner. Good excuse to visit one of the huge wine and liquor stores in the area. I already have close to 30 bottles in my racks at home. I didn’t really need more. However, when the urge hits, what can you do? So, there I was, browsing the wine aisles, paying a visit to the tasting counter and generally having a great time.
While I was walking around, I ran into a friend and wine educator working in the store. We chatted for a bit. Suddenly, he stopped speaking, tapped the side of his head and told me to join him in the Italian wine aisle. He walked directly to one of the bins and handed a bottle of wine to me. He said that he had to get back to work. He was adamant that I try this wine. Since I have great faith in his judgment, I took his advice.
In my hands was a bottle of 2013 Tempo Riserva from Bacci Wines. This wine comes from the Terre di Talamo vineyards. Located south of Grosset right in the heart of the Tuscan Maremma. The DOCG is Morellino di Scansano. This wine carries all of the credentials. It also confirms my belief that great wines are available for under $25.
The great thing about this wine is that it is at the peak of flavor right now. No need to lay it up for years or wait to enjoy it. Just pull that cork, let it breathe or pour it through your aerator. This Tempo Riserva has all the right components. It is a blend of 85 percent Sangiovese, 10 percent Alicante and 5 percent Cabernet. From this wine we get the traditional Sangiovese ruby color that I can stare at all day. We get lots of fruit without the sweetness. Deep cherry was of course prominent. The wine has plenty of tannins and a solid hint of licorice. The thing that strikes me about this wine is pairing diversity. It readily pairs with lamb, beef, poultry or veal. As an added bonus, pour a glass to accompany any of the cured meats and strong cheeses that we love. Tempo Riserva is an all-around great wine and a true bargain.
James Suckling, formerly the senior wine editor for Wine Spectator, rates this wine 92 points. My point is to demonstrate again and again that we can enjoy delicious quality wine at a reasonable price. I strongly recommend the 2013 Tempo Riserva. I am sure that you will get as much enjoyment from this wine as I did.