This Sangiovese -- Fazi Battaglia Rutilus 2003 -- comes from the Italian region of Marche (pronounced Mar-Kay). It's not the Chianti that so many of my friends frequently gravitate to, but to me it is still a quite pleasant everyday wine. If you want to spend only $12 on a bottle that is worthy of sharing, this is for you. If you want to open a bottle you know you might not finish until a few days later, this is also for you. And above all, if you want an easy-drinking wine served with or without food, this definitely a good candidate. It's got what I consider to be typical Italian dryness and perky tannins. It is bright red in colour with light to medium body. On the third day after uncorking, the wine still seems resistant to any sign of flatness, though storing it in a well-sealed mini-bottle may be more responsible for this characteristic than the wine itself.
I lean towards dishes with lots of colourful fresh vegetables when I've got a Chianti or other Sangiovese-based wine like this on the table. I don't really think that this is a crucial move; perhaps it has become more of a habit of mine than anything else. I just find that when you bring spaghetti marinara into the mix, it helps to create a nice Mediterranean atmosphere. A yellow bell pepper and snap pea medley topped with oil-packed white tuna and an anchovy-and-sundried-tomato sauce might add some authenticity to your dining. But then again it might not since I've never been to Italy. In the end, I don't feel Rutilus needs any special preparation or forethought to be all that it can be. I wouldn't serve it after wines that are not produced in the same style, but other than that, the wine is a simple pleasure which will always reward you. It's not going to elevate your food or raise the tone. It won't spoil what's in the offing either. Being the lowest common denominator can sometimes make for the highest praise of all.
Castelplanio, Italia. 12%.