Sunday, June 18, 2017

Do You Know Sagrantino?

Before we moved to Italy in 2003 I knew very little about wine.  What I did know was that it was usually expensive in restaurants, which kept me from ordering it, because the only other thing I knew about wine was that I had no idea what I liked.  Other than Chianti, I don't even think I knew the names of any wines, grapes or regions.

Although I now know a little more about wine - with the emphasis on 'little', the things I've learned are important.  Probably the most important thing I've learned about wine is that wine improves food and food improves wine and they should always always always be enjoyed together.  While I still can't tell you which wine pairs best with what food, I'm learning.

Cantina ChiorriWhen we lived in Louisville we enjoyed the wine tastings at Westport Wine and Whiskey.  In Italy there are so many wineries, ranging from tiny local home-based places to large, international companies, and many, many regional cantinas where you can fill up your 5 liter fiasco from a gas pump style hose for €1 per liter.  We recently visited Chiorri to take in the view and enjoy a refreshing glass of grechetto on a warm summer's afternoon.  Being able to have this wine by the glass let us sample, which led us to buy 5 liters to enjoy at home.

Those of you who know a bit about wine may know that Tuscany is famous for its' Brunello, and that Piemonte is known for Barolo and Barbaresco (And if you're interested,HERE is a link explaining the differences between those two wines, both made from the Nebbiolo grape.)  Here in Umbria there is also a very regional, very delicious and not as well know wine, Sagrantino,  There are about 50 producers of Sagrantino, and its production is strictly controlled to ensure the highest quality.

If you're visiting Umbria this year - and if you're not already making plans, start NOW! - the best way to see the beauty of Umbria and sample some of these great wines is to hire a knowledgeable guide.  We highly recommend GUSTO WINE TOURS.  Run by an English couple, Mark and Giselle Stafford, Gusto Wine Tours lets you meet the producers, mostly small, local places, sample the wines, not have to worry about driving,  enjoy the beautiful countryside, enjoy an authentic Umbrian lunch and spend the day with Mark, who is as knowledgeable about the wine as he is charming and witty!

Sharing the joys of Umbria, and of Sagrantino with the world is something we love to do.  If you've been putting off that trip because you're worried about earthquakes, please let me reassure you - Umbria is up an running, with little to no damage from earthquakes that occurred in other regions!  Come to Umbria, enjoy its' food, its' scenery, its' people and its' wine!  Book a tour with Mark and Giselle at GUSTO WINE TOURS for a truly special, unforgettable day!

You can also find Gusto Wine Tours on FACEBOOK.  

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