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2003 Mionetto Novello Marca Trevigiana, Italy

I bought this wine on a whim, after reading a review of it in one of my favorite wine newsletters put out by a little shop in Santa Monica, CA called Wine Expo. These guys send out an e-mail newsletter filled with finds from Italy and other international locales reviewed with gusto and humor. This little wine they described as the Italian answer to Beaujolais Nouveau, and that is a perfect characterization of it. The Mionetto is incredibly accessible as a wine, and drinkable as an aperitif or as an accompaniment to food.

Tasting Notes:
Well, it really tastes like fresh fruit. Yeah, I know this is one of the most uninteresting and uninsightful things one could say about the wine, but the light fruit flavors of this wine, with a slight hint of sweetness, simply seem to embody the essence of grapes budding on the vine. Throw away everything you think you know about red wine, and imagine the wine that flowed from the Dionysian urns in Greece and you might be approaching the spring-stream-in-the-woods freshness of this wine -- strawberries, fresh summer breeze, etc. etc.

Food Pairing:
Drink it with anything. I brought it along to dinner the other night at a French Bistro and it went just as well with celery soup as it did with oysters on the half shell as it did with a beet salad. I recommend serving it slightly chilled.

Overall Score: 8

How Much?: $9.99

I got mine from Wine Expo in Santa Monica (310-828-4428). Give them a call and they might be able to track some down for you. If you're interested in subscribing to their newsletter, send them mail at: [email protected].

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.