Parmigiano-Reggiano and a side salad. The wine: Dinastia Vivanco Crianza 2008($18) made for 100% Tempranillo grapes that is aged for 16 months in French and American oak.
I chose the wine from the Rioja region of Spain, because I find it's characteristics are not that much different than those of my usual Italian red table wine, Chianti. The Crianza is a little bolder, but both have very nice and similar fruit and berries aromas and taste.
Right out of the bottle, I knew this would be one of the better Rioja wines I've tasted. Lots of plum and cherry aromas with just a bit of spice and vanilla. In the mouth, I got cherry, a little cinnamon, some tobacco and a touch of damp woodsy soil with soft tannins and a little acid like feel on the sides of the mouth. The wine finished nice and smooth with spice notes and some leather. Much more than expected and a wine I am sure to try again at this price and the fact that it paired very nicely with the pasta and Italian sauce. Wine Spectator magazine selected the Dinastia Vivanco Crianza 2008 amongst its list of Top 100 Wines of 2011.
The wine made by Rafael Vivanco is the top ranked Rioja on the list,
appearing at number 59, and one of only 7 Spanish wines to make the top
flight. Just as I expected after the first aromas, this was one of the best Rioja wines I've tasted. Nice wine, nice price and very highly recommended.
You should also notice the unique shape of a bottle of Dinastia Vivanco. It's a
recreation of a shape found in the family’s museum, a bottle dating
back to the 18th century when each glass bottle was still individually
crafted by a skilled glass blower. The design was chosen to reflect the
ancient history of Rioja wine.