Pasta Dinner

Now that it is Fall, we’re finally getting our Summer weather. It has been a particularly mild Summer with very few days over 100 degrees. The past few days, however, have been very warm. Mornings have been damp and chilly, the birch trees are dropping their leaves. The backyard looks like Fall.

Our Monday night dinner was Fall fare. Pete made a wonderful pasta dish using tomatoes from our garden, garlic, sweet Italian sausage, capers and tomato paste. He sautéed everything together and served it with linguine. It tasted great.

We had a bottle of Fattoria dei Barbi, no vintage that we could find (14% alc.). According to my research, this wine is from the Maremma region of Tuscany. It is 85% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot and 5% Alicante. The vintage appears to be 2007. The color is a medium garnet. The nose smells like dark fruit and dried fruit. Dave noted a yeasty bread smell in the nose. The flavors tasted like dark fruit, tobacco, cherries and spice. The tannins are smooth and well integrated. The wine has a good amount of acid and the finish is short to medium in length. The mouthfeel is very light for the amount of flavor.

The wine paired well with the pasta dish. It is a perfect wine for warmer weather as it has plenty of flavor and a light mouthfeel.

We finished the evening with a rustic apple pie I made with local apples from the farmer’s market. They have so much more flavor than grocery store apples, and no chemicals!
What a great evening!


  1. Pete and Nancy-

    I am really enjoying your website! Pete, I want to make your pasta dish Nancy mentioned in this blog. It sounds delicious and perfect for a cold Autumn appetite.
    During your Spanish wines night, have you two tasted Tempranillos? That is one
    variety that I really have been drawn to in the last five years. My favorite vinters of Tempranillo, so far, are Tobin James (Paso Robles); Cosentino Winery (Napa and Lodi) and my dad’s friend, Fred Bennett. Winemaking is a hobby for him. But, he is so
    gifted at his craft! He makes excellent wines from grapes he plants on just five acres of land in east Lodi. Anyway, it was a bottle from his cellar in 2005, that hooked me on

    I will continue to read your updates on wine and food.


    • Glad you want to try the pasta. I don’t really have a recipe, I just do it by taste. I just sauteed all the ingredients in olive oil except the tomatoes until the garlic and sausage was cooked Used about a tablespoon of tomato paste and the same for the capers. I also added about 1/2 teaspoon of Anchovy paste but it isn’t necessary. Then just a few minutes before the pasta was done I tossed in the tomatoes as I don’t like them too cooked. Then toss in the cooked pasta and stir it up. Just adjust the amounts by how much pasta you are making.

      On the Tempranillo, yes we like them and have tried several. We should have a tasting we can put up soon. I don’t think I have tasted either Cosentino or Tobin James but another Lodi area you may like is St. Amant.

  2. Alice, Tom and I recently enjoyed using the tasting wheel downloaded from the UC Davis viticulture department website. We were tasting a 2009 Syrah on bottling day and since it was so young, the wheel helped us identify some potential future charactaristics that may have been masked by its youth. I highly suggest getting a copy of the wheel, especially when drinking younger wines that are not fully developed.