I recently received a bottle of Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo Riserva 2005. My colleague Shannon was unable to join us at a wine tasting event so she decided to bring the wine tasting to me at our last meeting. This dry Italian red is a favorite of both her and her husband. My drinking of Italian wines has been on the decline in the last few years as I am experimenting more with other regions, but Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo used to be my go to red when I was dining in Italian restaurants. This wine is medium bodied and quite dry. It is made by the Zaccagnini winery in Abruzzo, Italy of sangiovese grapes. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and then oak aged for 6 months. It was very dark red in color and almost purple toward the center of the glass. The wine had a nice aroma that was very earthy. Most people when describing the aroma of wines will come up with all kinds of fruits and spice notes but this is one of the first wines that I got grapes as the primary fruit on the nose. On the palate I tasted dark cherries and currants, some spice, and undertones of vanilla with a slight woodsy finish. There were also quite a bit of tannins present. Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo is a great red to pair with the obvious-pasta and pizza. It is 13% alcohol and retails for under $18.