Sunday, April 8, 2007

My Wine Pallett

OK, my wine pallet is forever altered! As most of you know, I love wine, but do not have a very discerning pallet. My ability to distinguish between wines range from "1. I like this, to 2. I like this one better, 3. This one is great, and 4. This one is my favorite. " If I say that I don’t like a wine, that means that I probably would not buy it, given other options, but usually means that I will drink all of mine, and anyone else who decides they do not want to. (This has been witnessed by those who I have traveled to Napa with...Amy, Michele, Denise, Linda. Right?)

Since I have been here, I have had nothing but "This one is great". I usually order the "vino della casa" in restaurants. It is a good quality Chianti, which all of them bearing the DOCG label for Chianti are excellent. I have not bought one bottle of wine in a restaurant since I have been here! You can buy the house wine by the glass (bicherrie), or by the 1/4, ½ or full liter (Quartro, mezzo, litre). At lunch, I try to take it slow and stick with a ½ liter.

The wine that I do buy in the bottle (bottiglia), I bring home for myself and the occasional guest. I never spend over 15 euro, which is about $20, but most of the time stay in the 10 euro range. My absolute favorite has quickly become the Rosso di Montalcino. It is a light red wine, very fruity and sooooo delicious. Other popular wines of the area are of course Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and vino Nobile di Montepulciano. All of these are made from the sangiovese grape which is grown inland on the hills of Tuscany.

I have learned that Italians drink as much water as wine with their meals, which is another good habit to have. The wines here have lots less sulfites as preservatives than in the U.S. Which in combination with the water makes the mornings after painless!

I have tried lots of new wines since I have been here. Most Italian reds are made with Sangiovese grapes. My favorite type of wine is Rosso di Montalcino, followed by Chianti, Nobile di Rosso, Sangiovese.

In vino veritas!

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