Movie & Wine Pairing


Dragone Selezione 2017
Calabria IGT, Italy

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
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Because this rich wine is such an exciting discovery, enjoy it with the complexly rendered directorial debut of Mike Nichols, who proved that his grasp of cinema was equal to his award-winning career in theatre. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor costar – and give arguably their finest performances – as a college professor and his wife who invite over another couple for an evening of verbal fireworks and uncomfortable truths. One of the films that led to the abandonment of the Production Code, it’s as enthralling today as it was fifty years ago.


This exciting Italian discovery represents a (very) successful partnership between Calabria’s Lento family and expert consultant Matteo Bernabei (below, with his famed father Franco). Named for the dragon on the Lento coat of arms, Dragone Selezione marries rare, native Magliocco with international Merlot. Given Magliocco’s great structure and freshness, Matteo and his team left the grapes on the vine until December to become slightly dried (leggermente appassito), then treated the wine to six months in the family’s finest French oak barriques.

The result? An incredible 98-point score from Italian critic Luca Maroni. He called it “one of the best reds of the year ... sumptuous, exceptional power ... with a density of blackberry and spices ... a champion – fabulous.” Rich and complex, Dragone Selezione overflows with blackberry jam, ripe black plum, and sour cherry characters. It’s a delicious match for hearty pasta, roasted meats, and more (see back for food pairing ideas).


WM_Matteo_Franco_BernabeiLocated in southern Italy (along the ‘toe’ of the ‘boot’), Calabria benefits from a sunny Mediterranean climate and cool sea breezes that produce ripe, fresh grapes. Most of the region’s reds are crafted from Magliocco, an ancient variety grown almost exclusively in Calabria. The area also makes vibrant whites, mainly from local stars Mantonico Bianco and Greco Bianco or international Chardonnay.


ital_eggplantparmWith its concentrated, black-fruit flavors and luscious texture, Dragone Selezione makes the perfect centerpiece to a big feast. Pair it with Italian-inspired pasta dishes like spaghetti Bolognese, eggplant lasagna, or cheesy baked ziti. It will also be tasty with juicy steaks, roasted lamb, or other savory red meats. And, if you’re a fan of bold reds, you’ll enjoy sipping it solo too.

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