This week's wine of the week, a 2005 Estate Benessere sangiovese, comes on the recommendation of Dean Cannestra, proprietor of Libiamo, 221 W. Galena St., and is from the family owned Benessere Napa Valley vineyard. This sangiovese is available by the bottle at Libiamo.
With plum and blackberry undertones, this lip-smacking dry and vibrant red is perfect with steaks or a hearty Italian meal, and is comprised of 12 different clones of Sangiovese grown on Benessere's 42-acre estate vineyard.
Benessere is Italian for 'well-being' or 'prosperity,' and the owners, John and Ellen Benish, named the winery to describe their affection for life in the Napa Valley. The winery's mission statement is "to produce the finest small lots of Italian-inspired wines in California."
This sangiovese carries a careful complexity I can only see getting better with age, but it was too good for us to not happily finish off the bottle with dinner.
Amy L. Schubert is a 15-year veteran of the hospitality industry and has worked in every aspect of bar and restaurant operations. A graduate of Marquette University (B.A.-Writing Intensive English, 1997) and UW-Milwaukee (M.A.-Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Writing, 2001), Amy still occasionally moonlights as a guest bartender and she mixes a mean martini.
The restaurant business seems to be in Amy’s blood, and she prides herself in researching and experimenting with culinary combinations and cooking techniques in her own kitchen as well as in friends’ restaurants. Both she and her husband, Scott, are avid cooks and “wine heads,” and love to entertain friends, family and neighbors as frequently as possible.
Amy and Scott live with their boys, Alex and Nick, in Bay View, where they are all very active in the community. Amy finds great pleasure in sharing her knowledge and passions for food and writing in her contributions to OnMilwaukee.com.