Friday night I was the recipient of some bad news regarding my weekend, so, in order to cheer myself up, I went to a wine tasting near my home. There was a distributor there from "Small Vineyards," who was showing some of their Italian wines. Number two on the list was Poggio Vignoso 2007 Chianti. I can't remember the tasters notes for the wine but I don't pay much attention to them anyway.
For me the first thing I notice about a wine is the price. I think most Americans pay way to much for table wines and am loath to pay more than $10.00 for something that is just going to complement a meal. There are exceptions, but for the most part I try to keep my wine purchases under $10.00.
Now that that's established I try to stay away from wines that have a perceivable tannic effect. When I drink a wine I don't want any burn associated with a sip. Usually this comes in the after taste, most (cheaper) wines have it and wine drinkers know what I am talking about. I think the effect is a result in the tannic acids present in grapes, good wines are able to mask the burning sensation associated with it.
This Chianti did well and only a slight hint of burn was noticed. It was a robust wine, but not one that would overpower more subtle foods. Fruity tastes were present, but not overpowering. The wine was by no means sweet, but it wasn't bitter either. I appreciated the oak aging as the wine was not overpowered by wood, but did not have a generic steel taste either.
Overall this is a nice wine that will compliment a wide range of dishes, but will not steal the show. I purchased a bottle for $8.79. Then took it home and prepared Macaroni and Four Cheeses, along with some sausage that I simmered in a splash of the wine. The wine did not hide any of the four cheeses, and it brought out the flavors in the sausage rather than diminish it. Consequently, I would be somewhat confident pairing this with something even more delicate like trout or salmon. (I don't care for white wines). I like this wine for everything from a casual dinner party, to a hum drum Friday night.