What pairs with Ryme Aglianico?
Aglianico has been a new experience for me this summer. This one comes from Ryme Cellars, a small winery in Sonoma. I hadn’t opened this one earlier because it has an alcohol listed at 15.8%, and that often translates to a really big, rich wine. Now that the weather in Minnesota has cooled off a bit, it seemed a good time to give it a try.
Here are my initial notes on opening the wine:
- Eye: dark purple red, very dark but not inky.
- Nose: dark fruit, smoke (after a little while), herbs and something floral. Roses or rose canes?
- Mouth: not purely tannic but maybe both acidic and tannic. NOT a rich, fat wine but still a BIG wine. It has a richness to it, but it has many other things as well; dark fruit, herbs and so lively. The fruit does seem ripe and rich but so structured.
Before dinner, we tried it with a number of cheeses. Not surprisingly, the wine overpowered lighter goat cheese. Even a mountain style cheese like Pleasant Ridge Reserve wasn’t quite up to the task. Finally, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar had the depth of flavor and texture to partner well with this wine. Nice!
Dinner was a nice pork loin roast from Sunshine Harvest Farm, a local family farm who sells at several Minneapolis area farmers markets. Pasta sauce was made from some of the last tomatoes and herbs from the garden, along with mushrooms and onions from the store.
The food and wine together were a real treat. The richness of the roast pork really brought the fruit out in the wine, and the acidity and tannins in the wine disappeared while they cleansed the palate between bites of food.
Ryme Cellars is a small operation. Like a number of California wineries, they don’t have their own vineyards but source grapes from grapegrowers they work with. They don’t have any distribution in Minnesota; I had heard some good things about them, so I decided to give them a try. It’s amazingly easy to order directly from the winery, and the wine shows up via UPS or Fedex. Ground shipping isn’t that expensive, but they will only ship during the cooler weather of spring or fall. I will certainly be ordering more from them in the future. I haven’t had the opportunity to meet the winemakers, Ryan & Megan Glaab, but I hope to the next time I’m in Sonoma.
Note: if you’re interested in how to pronounce Aglianico, you can link to a fun pronunciation guide at the Do Bianchi blog. Do Bianchi is a great resource for exploring Italian wines.