The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2013

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Page 122 of 152

PHOTO COURTESY OF FERRARI-CARANO PAIRINGS Rhonda Carano's pappardelle with meat sauce is one of the recipes available on the Ferrari-Carano website. She suggests pairing this succulent fall dish with the Sangiovese-based Ferrari-Carano 2011 Siena. Remarkable Food Deserves Remarkable Wines FERRARI-CARANO'S OFFERINGS ARE COMPLEMENTED BY THE FAMILY'S OWN RECIPES by Ben Weinberg S ince Ferrari-Carano's founding in 1985, Don and Rhonda Carano's uncompromising commitment to excellence has encompassed many different varieties. "This allows placement within many wine list categories," says Rhonda, "from lighter-style whites, such as Bella Luce and Fumé Blanc, through a standby favorite Chardonnay, to our medium-bodied Siena red, complex and intense Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon and even luscious dessert wines." The Caranos' Italian heritage is reflected in their Sangiovese-based red blend, the Ferrari-Carano 2011 Siena ($23). Top lots are chosen from vineyards in the Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valleys in order to create a balanced, medium-bodied wine that bursts with red raspberry, blackberry, cola, mace and vanilla, all complemented by sweet, spicy oak. Soft, supple tannins pair perfectly with savory Italian food such as pasta with tomato sauce and chicken cacciatore. A unique, white blend, the Ferrari-Carano 2012 Bella Luce ($13) means "beautiful light" in Italian. Bella Luce's tangy acidity balances aromas of green melon, citrus, and tropical fruit, while flavors tend toward fresh pineapple and red apple. The finish is quite flowery, perfect as an apéritif or with shellfish, light pasta, and savory appetizers. The Ferrari-Carano 2012 Chardonnay ($23), the winery's flagship white, is crafted from grapes out of Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley and Carneros. This full-bodied Chardonnay boasts aromas of yellow apple, lemon zest, and nectarine. The long-lasting palate is all about quince, butter, and macadamia nut, pairing best with roasted chicken and pork of all persuasions. Ferrari-Carano also makes great olive oil. "Many years ago we planted Italian varietals on our mountain properties," says Rhonda, "including Leccino, Frantoio, Pendolino, Maurino, Coratina, Taggaisca and Itrana. Today we produce three different blends which we sell at the winery." Olive oil passion is only one of the ways that all members of the Ferrari-Carano team are big foodies. Rhonda in particular likes to share her knowledge and expertise, with recipes and a pairing guide available on a snazzy website ( and at the Ferrari-Carano Estate Winery in Dry Creek Valley. 122  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2013 TP1013_104-152.indd 122 9/23/13 10:35 PM

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