Chianti Wine

chianti wineChianti Wine

By Mark Adams

Mark is a professional winemaker, former winery owner, author and frequent speaker on wine.  He currently teaches wine classes throughout the United States.
Italians have contributed many things to humanity, but Chianti wine has to be at or near the top.

This grape is native to the Chianti region which is in the Tuscany area in Italy.  You may hear this wine called by either the grape or the region.

It’s the same wine.  Sangiovese is the grape and Chianti is the region.  But there are also several sub regions to Chianti, but the most well known is Chianti Classico.

On a recent trip to Tuscany, I saw sangiovese vines in about every square inch of the area.

Ask an Italian about Chianti Wine and they will smile, their hands will start moving, and you will have made a friend for life.  They are definitely passionate about this wine.

If you’re of a certain age, you my remember the wicker covered chianti bottles that were popular in the 70’s.  The style was to drink this very cheap wine and then put a candle in the bottle.

But a lot has changed with Chianti since the days of leisure suits.  Several years ago, our Italian friends decided to establish higher quality standards for the wine to be called Chianti.

Their efforts have paid off.  In recent years the wine has improved greatly and now can compete with the best of wines of France or California.

So if your only memory is of the 70’s version,  I would encourage you to give it another try.

This wine is smooth, but acidic, fruity, but dry.  It’s actually one of my favorite red wines.  The acidity is the key here.

When you first taste this wine you will get flavors of cherry and maybe a touch of strawberry.

But as you finish your sip, you’ll notice a bit more acidity than in most other red wines.

You don’t want the wine or food to be significantly stronger than the other so they won’t overpower each other.  Some foods, like tomatoes have a lot of acidity.

So if you have a wine with more acidity you would pair it with other foods like tomatoes.  So when you hear people drinking this wine with red sauces or pizza, that’s why.

While we’re talking a bit on wine and food pairings remember that usually the traditional wine and food from the same region are a good match.

If you would like the convenience of ordering you wine online, one company that I like is My Wines Direct.  They have been around for years and have an excellent reputation.  There prices are really good and they offer free shipping on all wine and wine gifts at,

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So here’s the wine skinny on Sangiovese

Native to the Tuscany region of Italy
Usually called Sangiovese in the US, Chianti in Europe
Acidic finish makes it a great wine for acidic foods like red sauces

Do yourself a favor and try chianti wine.  As an Italian winemaker friend told me…Marco, ita isa likea amore ina bottle!

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