Love for wines
Cupid has made another trip around the sun. And today, once again, we celebrate a day of love—even if we don’t always know what that means.So instead of trying to understand it, let’s just drink to love.
The Italians call it, “amore” and the French call it, “l’amour.” I was just told that the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines and the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry are coming together today for a double dose of love in an event organized by the Tasting Club.
It is entitled “Love, Wine and Chocolate: An Epicurean Journey to Iconic Bordeaux and Chianti Wine Regions.” They will also pair the Italian and Bordeaux wines with Filipino artisan chocolates, so make that a triple dose of love.
The event is via Zoom this afternoon for those who preregistered, but that shouldn’t stop us from enjoying our Chianti and Bordeaux wines.
I am especially enamored by Chianti, a wine produced in the Chianti region in central Tuscany. The history of the Ricasoli label of Chianti that will be used in the Italian Chamber of Commerce’s event today is incredibly rich.
By incredibly rich, I mean this: Bettino Ricasoli, after whom the Ricasoli label was named, was no ordinary winemaker. He was the first count of Brolio and prime minister of the Kingdom of Italy.
His legacy is incredible. He was known for his efforts for the reconciliation of the Kingdom of Italy and the Vatican.
He refused Napoleon III’s offer to cede Venetia to Italy. As Tuscan Minister of Interior, he was also instrumental in the union of Tuscany and Piedmont in 1860. His Cabinet was known as the Government of National Reconciliation as he led Italy during the Third War of Independence.
And on top of all that … he created the formula for Chianti.
The mix of 70-percent Sangiovese, 15-percent Canaiolo and the unique incorporation of 15-percent Malvasia bianca, a white grape, is credited to him.
In the 1970s, some producers started to reduce the quantity of white grapes in Chianti and then in 1995, it became legal to produce a Chianti with 100-percent Sangiovese. Today, a Chianti must be made from at least 80-percent, not just 70-percent, Sangiovese.
Aside from Ricasoli, you can also get Chianti from Artisan Cellars (call 8880-0619). They carry the Castell’in Villa Chianti Classico and Riserva. These are made in an estate dating back to the 1200s, which has a medieval stone tower and is the home of Greek-born Princess Coralia Pignatelli della Leonessa since 1968.
Speaking of Chianti Classico, note that a Chianti can only be called classico if it comes from that subarea of the Chianti region where you will also find the original Chianti heartland.
To know if a bottle is authentically a Chianti Classico, look for the black rooster seal on the neck of the bottle as this indicates that the producer of the wine is a member of the Chianti Classico Consortium, the local association of producers. The Castelli’in Villa bottle has this.
Other Chiantis available in the Philippines include the Roccamura by Agricole Selvi, distributed by My Wine; Rocca, distributed by Italfood; and the Chianti Fiasco Gonfalone, distributed by Esclusivo.
Chianti, in the heart of Tuscany, has actually been a destination for honeymooners, lovers, anniversary celebrations and amorous getaways throughout the years. The castles, vineyards, secret gardens and Tuscan hilltops make it the perfect setting for Valentine’s Day.
But since we can’t travel at the moment, let’s just imagine we are there.After all, “When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine … that’s amore.”
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
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