Wine Wednesday | The Enchanted April
So I just finished reading The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim the other day, and I completely adored it. While we wait for our own gardens to bloom here in the PNW, an escape to a warm, sunny, flower carpeted Villa in Italy was just plain magical. The only thing better than this book, is this book with a perfectly paired, relaxing glass of wine to help you really sink into the pages.
Since this story is absolutely bursting with descriptions of flowering, bountiful gardens, it only feels natural to pair a wine that is fruit-forward with herbal and floral notes tempered with some spice to celebrate the sun-drenched, flora covered scene of the Villa. Relevant tasting notes lifted directly from the text include cherry, peach, fig, nasturtium (spicy!), and lavender; all flavors often found in wines.
"The wistaria was tumbling over itself in its excess of life, its prodigality of flowering; and where the pergola ended the sun blazed on scarlet geraniums, bushes of them, and nasturtiums in great heaps, and marigolds so brilliant that they seemed to be burning, and red and pink snapdragons, all outdoing each other in bright, fierce colour. The ground behind these flaming things dropped away in terraces to the sea, each terrace a little orchard, where among the olives grew vines on trellises, and fig-trees, and peach-trees, and cherry-trees. The cherry-trees and peach-trees were in blossom--lovely showers of white and deep rose-colour among the trembling delicacy of the olives; the fig-leaves were just big enough to smell of figs, the vine-buds were only beginning to show. And beneath these trees were groups of blue and purple irises, and bushes of lavender, and grey, sharp cactuses, and the grass was thick with dandelions and daisies, and right down at the bottom was the sea. Colour seemed flung down anyhow, anywhere; every sort of colour piled up in heaps, pouring along in rivers....”
Sangiovese is indigenous to Tuscany (the primary setting in the book!), and is the most planted red grape variety in Italy. Consequently it definitely varies based on it's terroir. Ultimately, sangiovese is a lovely dry red wine that's perfect for this novel as it is absolutely bursting with flavor; fully evocative of the fruits, flowers and earthy richness of the setting. It's also a wine type that really blossoms when enjoyed with food and pairs well with fresh, springy Italian fare: think lamb, pasta, pecorino cheese, or pizza with grilled vegetables.
We love this one from our home state ($12 and my personal favorite) for it's lightness and juicy, bright cherry flavors, as well as this one from Tuscany, which is nice and dry, and full of red fruit tinged with spice. You could also opt for a rosé of sangiovese like this one with a cult following, for a slightly sweeter, crisper experience.
If you need some more options, here's a great list we found of Sangiovese under $20 complete with wonderfully descriptive flavor profiles for each bottle. Cheers!
What wine would you recommend for this novel? We'd love to hear!