We've all had times we'd like to forget.
For Valpolicella (a simple Italian red wine), and anyone who still harbors images of rust-colored leisure suits and avocado green Ford Pintos, that would be the entirety of the 70s.
Today, Valpo, as it's known by those who choose to forgive its decade as the overproduced swill that flooded American shores, is a wine changed.
Sandwiched between the northeastern foothills of the Alps and Lake Garda, just west of Romeo and Juliet's town of Verona, is the “Valley of Cellars”--a series of north-south ridges that look like the fingers on an outstretched hand.
Because the wine's trio of grapes--Corvina, Rondinella, and, in diminishing amounts, Molinara--often share their soil with cherry trees, and since bottles marked "Superiore" have basked in oak for at least a year, the result tastes a little like Black Cherry Vanilla Coke.
Except flat. And dry. And with a 13.5 percent kick in the pants. And maybe like you've just had a puff off a clove cigarette.
Add a Stouffer's french bread pizza and you've got the makings of another iffy era.
Pull this from the oven instead and it's nothing but glory days.