Time for another SideTrip. 
We don’t ignore great wine regions here at TuscanVines, we embrace them. Especially when they have roots that run deep with Italian families that immigrated from Italy.  Sonoma, and to a lesser extent Napa, are filled with Italian American family wineries. With that in mind, we tried two amazing wines recently, both of which are under $20.
The 2009 Truchard Syrah from the Carneros area of Napa is an amazing wine.  Similar Napa Syrahs of this quality routinely sell for $30-$50.  What’s more, this is the 3rd or 4th time I’ve had this wine in as many months and it’s been remarkably consistent.  In the glass, a deep, lovely purple.  Long, viscous, almost oily legs hint at what’s to come.  On the nose, the wine displays black fruit aromas that are punctuated by cracked black pepper, mineral, smoked meat and turned earth.  In the mouth, the taster is greeted by textbook cool climate Syrah, which yields a wine with slightly more acidity.  Dark plums, pepper and smoked meat flavors, with new leather frame the palate and the wines ripe tannins are matched by crisp acidity that makes this very food friendy.  91 points, about $19. 

2009 Truchard Syrah – Great Value from Napa

Next up was a curious wine I’d never heard of or tried before.   Admittedly I was drawn to it only because of the label.  It seemed like a wine of good pedigree, so after speaking to the shop owner who had tasted it, I decided to give it a try.  The 2009 Federalist Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley  was exactly as described. 

In the glass, a pretty dark violet.  The nose is unmistakably Zinfandel.   Briary, wild berry fruit aromas mingle with eucalyptus, shaley minerals and pepper. In the mouth, the wine is full bodied and jammy, but not to the point of being over done.  There’s loads of powdery, dusty, dry creek tannins that add complexity to the pepper, menthol and wild berry flavors.  A good core of acidity makes this very food friendly.  This stuff is great, and I’m going back for more. Highly recommended.  92 points, about $18. 

2009 The Federalist Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

And a slight bonus recipe today for Contorni….(or side dish)
Sicilian Broccoli
3 broccoli crowns trimmed and slightly steamed
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 anchovy, chopped
8 Gaeta olives, pitted, chopped
Handful of seasoned panko crumbs
Crushed red pepper
After the broccoli is steamed, I do it in a microwave steamer, remove and drain.  The broccoli should be cooked, but very firm.  Saute the garlic and anchovy in some olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot.  As the garlic softens, add the crushed red pepper and olives. Saute a minute more.  Add the broccoli, toss and remove from heat.  This can be made hours ahead of time and left to marinate on the stove top. If so, DO NOT cover.  Before serving, reheat, sprinkle with bread crumbs and serve.  It’s delicious and healthy!

Broccoli with gaeta olives, anchovy, bread crumbs and chiles

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