Tuscan Wines

The Wines of the Chianti Region

Chianti wines are probably the best known of Italian wines. Everyone is familiar with the straw covered bottles of Chianti, sitting on a red and white checked tablecloth in every Italian restaurant. Chianti wines have somewhat of a bad reputation, but that has changed drastically since the inception of the D.O.C.G. and the new guidelines. The traditional straw covered bottle is still available at a relatively low cost, but Chianti wines have come into their own, and include some of the most delightful wines in all of Italy.

Color: Deep red, pomegranateAroma: Fruity, cherry, violets

Taste: Light to full bodied, dry, slightly tannic

Alcohol: 12.5%

Maturation Time: 3 to 10 years

Temperature: Serve at 64 F

Couplings: Serve with Italian foods, lasagna, veal, tomato sauces, parmigiano cheeses, red meat, excellent with game meats, pheasant, pigeon, squab, goose, and lamb.

Chianti Classico
The Color: Intense, ruby redThe Aroma: Intense, typically of violets

The Taste: Dry, harmonious, slightly tannic, acquires softness with age

Alcohol: 12.5%

Maturation time: For Colli Senesi, Colli Aretini, Colline Pisane, and Montalbano, not before March 1st, of the year following vintage. For Colli Fiorentini, Rufine, Montespertole and Superiore, not before June 1st of the year following vintage. For the Riserve, minimum of 2 years.

Temperature: Serve between 64 and 67 Fahrenheit, 18 to 20 Celsius, open bottle a few hours before serving.

Couplings: With barbecues, stews, poultry and spicy cheeses, but works with just about any meal.

Brunello di Montalcino
The Color: deep ruby red, verging on pomegranate.

The Aroma: is ethereal, wide, abundant, with undergrowth red jam and licorice scents.

The Taste: dry, warm, soft, little fresh, quite tannic flavorsome and strong.

Alcohol: 12,5° minimum maturation

Compulsory maturation time: four years, three of which in chestnut or oak-casks, starting from first of January of the year following the vintage.

Temperature to serve: 18-22°C.

Couplings: stewed hare, seasoned sheep’s cheese from Pienza.

Reserve: minimum maturation time: 5 years starting from the first of January of the year following the vintage.

The Wines of Tuscany
Rosso di Montalcino
Color: Red, dark red

Aroma: Blackcurrant and licorice

Taste: Dry, warm, full-bodied, sapid and tannic

Alcohol: 12.5% – 13.5%

Aging: Minimum 1 year

Temperature: 64-67 F, 18– 20 C

Couplings: Red meats, barbecue, and venison.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Color: Red, intense maroon

Aroma: Delicate and intense, violets

Taste: Slightly tannic, dry, harmonious

Alcohol: 12% – 13.5%

Aging: Minimum 2 years, beginning January 1st after vintage, using one of three acceptable options

1) 2 years in wood
2) 18 months in wood, 6 months in other container
3) 1 Year in wood, 6 months in bottle, and 6 months in other container

Riserva, Minimum of 3 years, with at least 6 months in bottle. Wood aging options similar to other methods.

Temperature: 64—67 F, 18—20 C

Couplings: Red meat, roast beef, venison, game and poultry.

Morellino di Scansano
Color: Intense, ruby redAroma: Of wine

Taste: Dry

Alcohol: 11.% – 12.5%

Aging: Minimum of 2 years, one in wood. Riserva, 5 years, laying.

Color: Deep ruby red with maroon highlightsAroma: Of almonds

Taste: Soft, dry, full-bodied

Alcohol: 12.5%

Aging: Minimum 8 months in oak or chestnut barrels, not to be released until June 2 years after vintage. For Riserva, minimum one year in oak or chestnut barrels, not to be released until Spetember 29th, three years after vintage. Up to 10 years, laying.

Couplings; Wild boar, wild rabbit, deer, red meat and pork.

Italy produces more wines than any other country in the world. Tuscany produces some of the finest wines in Italy. Because the geography of Tuscany is so diverse, it creates many micro-climates and soil types that produce an astonishing variety of wines, both red and white. And each winery within each micro-region produces wines that are distinctive and diverse as well. When touring Tuscany and sampling it’s many wines, take notice of these things when you discover a wine you enjoy.

Brand name, usually named for the estate the where the wine was vinted. Producer’s name, and the Appellation, or growing region. This will help you look for and purchase your favorite wines when you return home!

Bianco di Pitigliano (also made Kosher)
Color: White, straw yellowAroma: Delicate

Taste: Dry and slightly bitter

Alcohol: 11.5%

Aging: 2 years, standing

Temperature: 49 to 52 F

Couplings: Hors d’ oeuvres and seafood in general

Tuscan Whites Tuscan Reds
Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Color: White, pale golden yellow

Aroma: Fine, persistent, floral

Taste: Dry, fresh, harmonious, crisp, clean, dried fruit, with characteristic bitter finish

Alcohol: 12%

Aging: Up to 3 years, laying. Riserva, minimum one year, 4 months of which is in bottles

Temperature: 49—52 F

Couplings: Seafood, especially crustaceans, salads.