Out of many trips to Italy, no place was more beautiful than Umbria, Italy. The rolling hills, the old towns perched on plunging cliffs – it’s dreamy.
And then there’s Umbrian food and wine.
I truly believe that Umbria is one of Italy’s most under-appreciated wine regions.
While I do highly recommend a trip to Umbria, sometimes that just isn’t in the cards. Don’t fret – you can bring a bit of Umbrian sunshine into your own home with a taste of Montefalco Rosso, one of Umbria’s signature wines.
To be sold as Montefalco Rosso, a wine must contain 60% to 70% Sangiovese, making it quite a dry red wine. (If you don’t love dry reds, I suggest getting a sample to taste before over-committing.) Montefalco is one of Italy’s newer protected wine regions, which is kind of funny considering wine-making started here around the 1200s.
What Monteflaco Rosso wines should you look out for in your local wine shop? Here are three I recently tried, as well as a suggestion on what to eat with it.
2011 Fanti Montefalco Rosso
The 2011 Fanti hits you with a strong bouquet of dark raspberries and chocolate. It is not quite as dry as other Montefalco Rosso wines. The flavor is fruitier than the bouquet, with hints of light berries. The wine itself has such a wonderful color if you hold it up to clear light – almost a strawberry-esque hue. Really wonderful and I can imagine it as the perfect summer sipper or for that superb after-work libation.
2009 Scacciadiavoli Montefalco Rosso
The Scacciadiavoli delivers another wonderful berry bouquet. Heading into dry country, I still think this wine strikes a healthy dry/sweet balance, which leaves a rich, wonderful taste on the back of your tongue. I picture myself relaxing on a piazza in Rome sipping this wine and telling stories with friends.
2009 Tenvta CastelBvono Monteflaco Rosso
Last, but not least, the Tenvta, is the driest of the wines featured here, but it has a nice sweet note to the end of it. I love the rush of berries when quaffing this wine, with its smooth richness. There might even be a bit of tartness – especially if a piece of chocolate manages to find its way onto your plate.
The Perfect Food Pairing for Montefalco Rosso: Tomato Bread
One thing that I had almost every day in Umbria is a slice of tomato bread. It’s freshly-baked bread with tomato, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. What’s not to like? Plus, it is easy-peasy for you to make and serve for guests or just enjoy while sipping on these wines – tomato bread is guaranteed to add some sunshine to your day.
- 2-4 slices of bread (high quality)
- 1 fresh tomato
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Pinch of sea salt
Toast your bread lightly – not too much. While the bread is toasting, slice your tomato in half.
Rub the freshly toasted bread gently with the open side of your sliced tomato. Push hard enough that your tomato is penetrating the bread but not so much your tomato disintegrates.
Then drizzle a bit of olive oil on the bread.
Top with a pinch of sea salt. Enjoy immediately.
Photo Credits: All photos by author except tomato bread by Emi Yañez.