Adopting a Wine-Tasting Attitude

Suggestion: Go wine tasting.

If you want to be like Michael Sheen in “Midnight in Paris,” go to some well-publicized, large villa-type vineyard. However, if you want to feel Italian and visit your Italian relatives, go someplace small and relatively unheard of. If the latter appeals to you, then this is how you find it. Take a bus to a small town outside of Florence like Montespertoli and walk aimlessly into the countryside. If you strike up an conversation with a local who owns a family vineyard, then you’ve found it.

Don’t worry – walking for an hour in the Tuscany countryside is not a bad as it sounds. It’s very worth it in itself. However, if you don’t like walking through the Tuscany countryside – don’t go. But if you go, take comfort in the fact that your four-course meal will most likely be worked off on the return walk. That’s right, a four-course meal. Bite size appetizers of excellent cheese, bread, sliced meat, and spread to begin with. Then pasta which is followed by salted, tender chicken with potatoes. To finish it off, desert is a generous slice of blackberry pie.

Being a vineyard, there’s wine, of course. Three glasses are served for the main meals. A basic, yet still savory wine called San Giovese; a Chianti Montespertoli with a scent of frutti di bosca, or berries; and Desiderio, a rich wine suitable for rich food such as pasta. With desert is a sugary, white wine, followed by a cappuccino, followed by Grappa del Chianti Riserva – all made right there, mind you. Wine tasting excursions at vineyards might not always be like this one, but if it’s any good, it will be close to it.

That return walk sounds much needed, doesn’t it? Of course you can take the easier (and shorter) route by going to the nearest tourist-catering vineyard but, where’s the adventure in that?

By Jake Sheets

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Categories: Life Abroad

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