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Chianti Classico: Carlino’s Tuscan Favorite

March 31, 2012 Carlino's Restaurant no comments
"Chianti's bold, bright flavor is such a natural accompaniment to Italian food "

“Chianti’s bold, bright flavor is such a natural accompaniment to Italian food “

Our last newsletter focused on the bold new Tuscan red wines. This week, take a closer look at the roots of the Super-Tuscan revolution in Italian wines and gain a new appreciation for Chianti.

According to Carlino’s Restaurant patrons, Chianti Classico remains a perennial favorite; given this affable wine’s long history of pairing beautifully with food, it’s no wonder.

The Original Tuscan Red Wine: Chianti Classico

When you think of Tuscan red wines, you might think first of the marvelous Super-Tuscan wines that have taken the wine-loving world by storm for the past decade and a half. The Super-Tuscans couldn’t have evolved into some of the world’s most popular cabernet sauvignon-based wines without their forerunner, Chianti Classico.

Made from Sangiovese grapes, Chianti Classico is Italy’s most famous wine and has been raised to an art form in Tuscany.

The agency that oversees Italian wines, the DOC, sets standards on the percentages of certain grapes that a genuine Chianti may contain. The DOC also delineates where Chianti can be made; a Chianti must come from one of seven provinces in Tuscany. Chianti Classico comes only from the Chianti province within the Toscano region.

The soul of a Chianti or Chianti Classico doesn’t come from a ratio, though; it’s the product of centuries of experimentation. The dark, intense Italian Sangiovese grapes form the wine’s backbone, but the DOC permits a great deal of flexibility with the other grapes used in a Chianti. That’s why these lively wines vary so much, and it’s part of their enduring charm.

Chianti’s bold, bright flavor is such a natural accompaniment to Italian food that the straw-wrapped bottles are still an iconic image next to a plate of spaghetti with marinara sauce. What sets Chianti apart is its blend of red Sangiovese and white Malvasia Blanca grapes more commonly used for white wines. This combination gives Chianti a buoyant fruitiness and lightness that complements everything from pasta to pizza.

Compared to their Super-Tuscan descendants, Chianti and Chianti Classico have an easygoing nature. They’re uncomplicated and cheerful like a convivial dinner with family, while their Super-Tuscan counterparts are more like an elegant dinner party with friends.

Whether it’s an assertive Super-Tuscan with its Cabernet Sauvignon lineage or a fun, fruity Chianti that embraces its Italian roots, the red wines of Tuscany deserve their esteemed place on the table. Carlino’s staff can recommend choice wine pairings for anything on the menu.

Sincerely, Carlo, Wali and all your friends at Carlino’s



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