Posts Tagged ‘Southern Italy’

Now that I have my taste for Brut under control, its time to get back to the ordinary and contemplate non-sparkling/still vino.

Once this entry is complete, I will have tasted almost all of Mezzomondo’s wines offered at the LCBO. I’m sure there are one or two others that may require a little more hunting to find them.  The amazing Negroamaro Salento, a palatable Sangiovese Merlot, dumpster-cleaner Sparkling Rosé and now this Pinot Grigio Chardonnay.

If not for a sometimes obvious identity crisis, this vino definitely shows some possibilities. The nose prickles with some decent citrus scents with a deeply buried peachness… The body is surprisingly full and smooth with a zesty twang of spices to finish clean.  One mouthful is Pinot Grigio, one mouthful is an about-face of full on Chardonnay.

A rather unique-tasting vino that paired will with slow-roasted pork tenderloins.  Yes, I said pork. The lean flesh has a low fat content and as I roasted it with an autumn vegetable melange, it was juicy and tender.

A decent vino for ~$10/btl



**image credit: ME!  Depiction of label and product published under Fair Use provisions for review and critique.

Even though this is the fifth installment in my now-SIX part series on holiday bubbles, I’ll not be expounding much on this particular entry. Yes, ~$11/blt is in the ‘moderate priced’ category, this sparkling wine will be grouped in the ‘budget category’.

From what I can find online and in my local LCBO, MezzoMondo offers four distinct vinos: Negroamaro Salento, Sangiovese Merlot, a Sicilian Pino Grigio/Chardonnay, and this Sparkling Rosé. The Salento kicks major butt, the Sang-Merlot is decent, I’ve not tried the Pino Grigio/Chard yet and then there’s this…uhm…stuff…

I bought this hoping the previous two vino experiences were the benchmark of something wonderful.

The cork leapt from the bottle as any would but this time it felt like it truly NEEDED to be away from this one.  The mousse foamed like soapsuds and left odd webbing on the glass. There wasn’t the faintest hint of any scents on the nose, nor even on the palate. There isn’t anything I can possibly try to dredge up to say anything positive about this stuff.  The coral-pink color is very pretty to look at in the glass as it dances with bubbles the size of peas.

A very disappointing offering from MezzoMondo.

YUCK!!!!!!!  Spend the extra dollar and get something better



**image credit – a Google Images search produced a few results – I chose one and added the festive holly border.  Label and naming is naturally the property of the winery, pictured here under Fair Use provisions for review and critique.

Please think back for just a moment with me to my review of Mezzomondo Negroamaro Salento 2009 and how amazed I was by its wonderful presence and character for only ~$8/btl….

Well…  Mezzomondo has done it again with their Sangioveses Merlot.

The same conditions were re-created for the tasting of this vino: crunchy flat-bread pizza with sausage and mozzarella. Sangiovese, from my experience, needs a little time in the glass to bloom, so I hesitated just a bit once pouring before even swirling & sniffing.  Hrm…  I swirled and sniffed. Nothing. Swirled again…  Not much happening on the nose. Seriously!  There’s only a very faint whiff of dust and cherry on the nose.

Pizza is ready, I’ve had a bite and began swirling the vino again – this time to sip.  Mmmm!   The scentless secret is whispered to the palate with a tangy, spicy, earthy experience.  The medium body is woody and tannic and leaves me literally drooling for another sip!

Pleasant and simple.  A great vino for ~$9/btl.



I’ve been accused of many things over the years, and forgetful is most certainly one of them. When I am reminded to consider bang for the buck with respect to wine, its almost always by the wine itself. At $7.95/blt, this MezzoMondo Negroamaro Salento 2009 from the very heel of Italy is a true steal!

Sausage and cheese flat-bread pizza is in the oven at the moment, so I only have five minutes before dinner.

I love the label on this bottle – craft-colored paper with a very Galileo-esque design surrounding the year of vintage. Neat-o. The foil was removed to reveal a rather ominous black chugget of rubber stopper.  I thought two things: young/flat or complete plonk.

Four minutes left on the pizza…

Carefully poured some of this garnet-colored stuff into a Bordeaux glass and gave it a slosh.  Medium body appearance with a strangely enticing legging….  *sniff sniff  Hrmm… Very alcohol-forward… Cherry… plum…  hints of white pepper…  but I’ve been at this point before – all worked up for what may very well be anti-climatic.  I glanced at the over timer as I raised the glass to my lips…

Three minutes left.

Ka-POW!!!!  Rustic and fresh tannins with a mild acidity, popping flavors of plums and currants, pleasant linger of raisins and a flick of cedar…

Two minutes left on the pizza.

I’m sitting here staring bewildered into my wine glass!  Really? This?! This is good!! Really Good!!!  If this is the stuff Mama sloshes about with basic, honest Southern-Italian home cooking, I can’t wait until…


Ack!  Those two minutes flew by as I was lost in the astonishment of this wine. Pizza is cut, I’m at the table and taking a bite, burning the roof of my mouth, naturally.   A sip of vino to mingle with the sauce and sausage, crust and mozzarella… Awesome. I can almost see the Adriatic Sea off the terrace to the east rather than the Toronto skyline to my south.

MezzoMondo Negroamaro Salento 2009. Great with pizza obviously; I’d say good too with grilled Mackerel in a  Tomato-Cilantro sauce or full-flavored orange cheeses like Colby and Cheddar. I’ll most certainly be picking up a few bottles for my wine rack – at this price its definitely a great budget-priced vino! Yes, that was not a typo: $7.95/btl!