Tuscany (Toscana), located in the upper center-west coast of Italy, is home to some of the most famous cities in Italy, including Florence (Firenze), Pisa, Arezzo and Siena. A couple places that are not known as well as these bigger cities are the smaller cities of Chianti and Montepulciano. I have had the great opportunity to visit these lovely cities (along with some vineyards there) the past three summers for school. Let me tell you, Italian wine is something special! The smooth flavor and varieties in taste are impeccable. One of the greatest benefits (I think) to Italian wines is that they do not tend to label them as other countries do (ie. Merlot, Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc, et al.) Italians have Prosecco, white wine (occasionally labeled Pinot Grigio), red wine and dessert wines. So how would you know that it tastes good? There wine can vary based on location, as with soil type and weather conditions. But you really just have to try some of them and find out for yourself. Out of the two lesser known cities that I mentions previously, Chianti is probably the most known for its wine, with its Chianti Classico. Chianti also brings forth some other fabulous red wines, as does the city of Montepulciano. These two cities, as well as most of the other Tuscan cities are more known for their red wines (which is understandable, as they are amazing!)
Even though this city is located in Umbria (the south-eastern neighbor to Tuscany), I’m going to mention Orvieto as part of my blog. Orvieto has a soft spot in my heart because this is the location which I stayed while I was in Italy. It’s known for its white wine: the Orvieto Classico. This past summer I even went on two wine tastings, one in Orvieto and one in the surrounding areas. After asking one of the wine distributors at the Orvieto tasting why there were so many white wines compared to red wines at this particular tasting, he told me that it was due to the fact that red wine dominates the regions surrounding Orvieto right now and they were trying to push more people into trying and buying white wine. I thought that was very interesting!
Wine and dine like an Italian!
-Chianti: pasta, lamb, beef, cheese
-Chianti Classico: pasta, lamb, beef, pizza
-Montepulciano: pasta, lamb, cured meats, cheese
-Orvieto Classico: fish, chicken, turkey, cured meats
Next time you’re in Still Waters or any wine shop for that matter, check out the Italian section and try and of the Italian wines from the Tuscany region! Salute!
Look forward to next months blog:
Wines Perfect for Game Day!