I don't do this very often in New Zealand. Some would argue not as often as I should.. I bought some Italian wine. Lamberti 2003 Valpollicella Classico to be exact.
Generally, I am a "when in Rome" kind of girl. I try to buy as local as I can and enjoy discovering the most about regional food and wine while I am there to enjoy it as it should be enjoyed. Together. And the Land of the Long White Cloud puts out some amazing produce, dairy products, wine and meat from its soils.
But nothing wrong with a good Valpollicella, once in a while, and nothing wrong with buying it when there are New Zealand strip loin steaks on special at the local butchery. Not that I couldn't come up with at least a dozen NZ wines that would do the trick, the fact that it just popped up at the local supermarket of all places, caught me unaware.
So that was that. Steak here is wonderful, and often not as cheap as one might think but the quality is so good that you don't mind splurging once in while. Commonly accepted "lesser cuts" are so tender there is no need to take out a second mortgage if you like to have steak a little more often.
I marinated the steak with a bit of garlic, wine and a teaspoon or so of black bean paste, and grilled it, what else, rare. With crisp roasted rosemary potato wedges, steamed green beans dressed in a bit of my contraband olive oil and a glass of Lamberti Valpollicella.. I scurried outside with my dinner to enjoy the last of the early evening sun. And completely forgot to take a photo or write wine notes.
A good excuse to do it all over again in a week or so.
Ok. I couldn't wait a week. Plus the wine was perfect for my crumbed chicken breast stuffed with provolone, roasted peppers and arugula pesto. Didn't take a picture of that either.. I'm an impatient cook as well as ravenous (after forgetting my lunch and cycling 7km home). But I did make some wine notes.
Lamberti 2003 Valpollicella Classico (DOC)
This classic Italian blend (70% corvina, 20% rondinella, 5% molinara, 5% merlot) is medium ruby/garnet in colour. Medium bodied as well, it is full of blackberry/currant fruit on the nose. It is mild (12.5% alcohol) and balanced, following through with wildberry and forest. It lingers slightly, and for me, a very enjoyable food wine. Not for the cellar, at $16, enjoy it with grilled meats, pasta, bbq and chargrilled vegetables.