Italy's Ruffino: Pink and Red for Valentine's Day

sparkling-rose[1]Noted Italian wine producer Ruffino has a long history of making red wines in the hilly vineyards of Tuscany. It also makes one of the best Proseccos out of Northeast Italy that is affordably priced and easy to find in supermarkets. Their Sparkling Rosé is in the Prosecco family — it’s one of those gems on store shelves that you may overlook if you don’t understand what it is. It’s a wine with all the freshness and fruit you expect of Prosecco that’s taken up a notch by blending the glera grapes with pinot noir — which gives it the delicate pink color and that gently dry, fruity flavor jolt. It’s still just 11 percent alcohol. Ruffino’s Super Tuscan red called Modus is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot — still tremendously affordable considering the vineyards where these grapes were grown. The label features a compass to represent the balance of flavors from the beautiful Poggio Casciano and Santedame estates in Tuscany.

Ruffino Sparkling Rosé Italy NV, $14.99: Give Prosecco a second look Ruffino-Modus-Bottle-Shot[1]with this delicate pink bubbly that has a flavor twist from the addition of Pinot Noir. It’s gently dry and fruity and makes the ideal aperitif to hand to guests. It offers aromas of rose petal and strawberry with flavors of red berries and white stone fruits.

Ruffino Modus IGT Italy 2013, $24.99: It’s rather significant to note that this blend was first made back in 1997, and it remains a value-priced wine considering the quality and vineyards. It’s a blend of near equal parts of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It’s earthy and robust, and showcases the cherry and small berry notes typical of Sangiovese, the dark berries of Cabernet Sauvignon and plum and spice of Merlot. It’s a full-bodied wine with firm acidity and tannins that cling to the palate. Call it seriously Tuscan!

You can reach Sandra Silfven at ssilfven@hotmail.com.