The great opera composer Giacomo Puccini hailed from the western Italian region of Tuscany, which also happens to produce glorious wines. So it was perhaps inevitable that they would meet in Villa Puccini, a winery in Lucca that focuses on such local titans as chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
The sangiovese grape is the basis for these succulent red wines, though many other varietals also are used, some for blending. Tuscany also produces fine white wines, but not with the alacrity reserved for the reds.
Such as Villa Puccini Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano 2009, which is made from 90 percent sangiovese and 10 percent canaiolo. Medium-red to black in color, it introduces itself with fragrant aromas of cherries and oak. The fruit flavors are delicate yet austere, with softened tannins and a nice tart note on the finish. It’s ideal for grilled meats on July Fourth or any other day.
Pairings: Beef, pork, grilled chicken, lamb, pasta with red sauce and aged cheeses.