Between bites of eggplant Parmesan and calzones, another Sangiovese was lifted up to show the bottle and then passed round. We received gems of instruction along the way. "You don't want the wine to overpower the food," Chad said, adding, "There are lots of exceptions. It's also a matter of personal taste." Cool. Free license to apply personal taste? I can do that.
By the end of our time together we all were brave enough to offer descriptions of the wines. The three ladies at my end of the table were loosening up. "My husband thinks I'm at church," one of them chirped. "This is confessional wine."
The next time my sister came over, I left out a bottle of Cte du Rhne. "Oh," she said wide-eyed. "I love Cte du Rhne." "Of course," I answered smugly. "It's perfect with Spaghetti-Os."
Paesano's weekly wine tastings resume on Wednesday, September 18.
[Originally published in September, 2002.]