It was another hectic week at the Govatos household. Per usual, I spent about 100 hours at the store. Meanwhile in a herculean feat of suburban mythological proportions, my equally overworked wife chauffeured our children around from practices to parties to exhaustion. However, at close of day and end of week, there must be early beds for overtired children and comfortable couches and real wine for sleepy adults.
Those weekend nights that afford Joanne and me some time alone, granted that we don’t fall asleep putting the kids to bed, I like to start with a negroni, then move on to more vinous territory. Though we have been adding a number of fantastic new producers to Swigg’s offering over the last several months, this weekend like the many hectic weekends before, I’m relying on an “old friend” to lubricate the jagged and hurried edges of modern suburban life.
I still remember when I pronounced Vajra with a hard J. Thank God, I was eventually corrected and, thank God, I was eventually exposed to what I now consider one of the finest wine producing families in Italy. Located in the Western corner of Barolo, everything this family seems to grow and vinify is “Spot-on,” delicious and amazingly affordable.
Like the cobbler’s children, who have no shoes, my wife complains as a wine shop owner we “never have any wine in the house.” However, we always seem to have a couple of bottles of Vajra’s Langhe Rosso lying about. A blend of primarily Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto with dashes of Albarossa and Fresia for good measure. The wine is what the family describes as an introductory to Piedmont. At $15 a bottle, it’s simply a humble, pleasing wine that tastes of its place of origin (Piedmont), has a fruit component that makes it easy to enjoy, and is extremely versatile with food.
This is no small feat. Most $15 wines today are made in facilities that could easily be confused for an oil refinery and seem to taste like a combination of Quaker State and cotton candy. For this taster, Vajra is wine equivalent of comfort. Like that reliable classic rock station that I always find myself listening to even though I’ve heard every song they’re going to play since I was cradled in the womb, and I damn near know every song they’re are going to play next. Yes!
With Vajra, I get that same reliability and comfort as listening to the tingly guitar licks of Keith Richards or David Gilmour at a price that allows my kids to run from Sports to activities to exhaustion.
So tonight, I will most likely pour a glass of Vajra Langhe Rosso, most likely because it’s the only wine I have in the house, put on some old Stone’s album and remind myself how lucky I am.
In the glass Vajra’s 2014 bottle of Lange Rosso is a youthful purple with dark red hues. As always with this bottling dusty cherry notes dominate the nose leading to sweet plum, dry forest and hints of menthol and rose hips.
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