Wine: Villa Gemma 2014 Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Rosato
Origin: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy

Taste: This magenta-inflected, rose-colored wine drinks more like a light red than most rosatos. So, I’m a fan of serving it only gently chilled. Its attack is very dry, but the wine then follows with a luxuriously round, mouthcoating texture to accompany its medium body. Its bouquet reminds me of day-old, homemade cherry strudel (happy memories!), and the palate tastes of a bowl of strawberries, some a touch green, sprinkled with anise-flavored sugar.

Expectation: This wine’s talc-like tannins are reinforced by marked acidic tension, which should make a great match with lighter foods. Hopefully its copious red fruits should allow this Montepulciano to work nicely with fruit-influenced dishes, too.

Hit: Baked Salmon Dressed with Avocado Fruit Salsa
The salmon’s unctuous fattiness paired perfectly with the wine’s lusty roundness on the palate. The Avocado Salsa called for mango or papaya alongside the avocado. I opted for mango for some lushness, thinking the papaya might reinforce the wine’s herbal tinge, especially as jalapeño and cilantro were already part of the prep. It was brilliant! The wine’s touch of structural tension cleaned-up the palate after every bite.

Miss: Corn & Tomato Pie with Béchamel Sauce
My bet here was that the sweetness of the corn and tomatoes would link easily with the sweet red fruitiness of the wine. Alas, they were too sweet for the wine’s dry attack. At least the Béchamel melded seamlessly with the wine’s generous body. The torn basil sprinked on the pizza right before pulling it out of the oven did an okay job of matching with the wine’s leafy top notes, too.