The wonderful Tuscan red was discovered at Amis, a superb Italian eatery in Philadelphia. I was in town for a committee meeting and Amis was recommended by our local foodie.
Amis is an upscale yet inviting restaurant with low lighting, a view to an open kitchen, a warm color palette and knock-out food. Since Italian was the rule of the day, I scanned the wine list for a nice Chianti or Sangiovese-based wine to go with the meal.
Sabazio is produced by La Braccesca, part of the Antinori family of wines. The wine is 85% Prugnolo Gentile (which is a clone in the Sangiovese family) and 15% Merlot and other “complimentary grapes.”
This is a soft, lush wine that paired sublimely with my rigatoni with pork sausage ragu with beet greens. The brilliance of the chef was apparent in each entrée for our group, ranging from paccheri with swordfish and eggplant fries to tonnarelli “cacio e pepe” with pecorino and black pepper.
Sabazio is named for a monk at the abbey of Montepulciano who was the first, in the Middle Ages, to give precise directions how to ferment the grapes grown in the zone. His namesake wine is supple with bright berry flavor notes. It is a balanced wine with a touch of acidity.
As the capstone for a evening of great conversation and gastronomy, I took our server’s recommendation and had the salted butter semifreddo sundae with rhubarb marmalade and sbrisailona. This had the sweet and salty flavors to tease the taste buds while the textures of the soft semifreddo and crunchy sbrisailona added another dimension.
I’m not sure exactly what sbrisailona is – but apparently it pairs well with Sangiovese!