Getting a taste for Chianti (again)
Sometimes it is nice not to have too much of a good thing too often. Maybe you don’t see someone for some time, or don’t experience something, maybe for a few weeks, a few months or perhaps a number of years. Then you go back to be reminded of how good it is, all over again.
I was reminded on Sunday night of how much I love a good Sangiovese. In this trade, you have the fortunate opportunity of tasting a lot of wine. But that is ‘tasting’. Many would agree with me on this, you don’t really get to know and appreciate a wine unless you bring it home and spend time over it. Enjoy it in a relaxed atmosphere with friends and family. Oh, and in this case, have a bloody good meal to partner it.
In actual fact, I was looking for a wine to accompany the food. Not the other way around. My girlfriend was taking the reigns in the kitchen on this occasion. We like to take turns cooking for eachother. I told her the options I had at hand and she picked a Chianti, which had kindly been given to us by a supplier of ours.
Sangiovese and Chianti are one of the true great matches in the world of wine in terms of grape variety and terroir. Like Pinot Noir, it has a knack for taking on the characteristics of where it is grown. Although not an easy grape to work with, Tuscany provides the necessary heat, long growing season and fair autumns required for this late ripening variety.
I read over at Decanter that the French will now be experimenting with Sangiovese after Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo, the world’s largest cooperative nursery, sold about 170,000 vines to five Herault producers. That will be worth keeping an eye out for in the future.
We had the Bibbiano Montornello Chianti Classico with our meal, which had the trademark earthy, red cherry Sangiovese aromas and flavours, medium bodied with supple tannins and a striking backbone of acidity. Being such a great food wine, it turned out to be a fabulous match for our Beef Bourguignon, as well as a pleasent reminder of what I had been missing.