May 16, 2012

Tuscan Wine Tasting

We had originally planned to stay in Florence for a little over 2 days but then we found out that our flight was a good 6 hours later giving us almost an extra day. Sooooo that meant that we could be even more adventurous with our time. If there is one thing that I know about the the region of Tuscany (which is not very much), its that the countryside is gorgeous and the wine is fantastic. What else was there to do but to confirm this for ourselves through a tour of the Tuscan countryside and a wine tasting in an 800-year old castle?

Different barrels we saw during the wine tour each housing different kinds of wine at various stages of the fermentation process.
The place that we did our wine tasting is known as the Trebbio Castle, it used to belong to the once powerful, Italian family known as the Patsys. It also houses the "conspiracy room" for you history buffs out there who might just happen to know what that is. Currently, there is a family who lives in the castle and the husband and wife have turned the castle and surrounding area into a winery. The history of the family is quite beautiful and somewhat tragic, and our tourguide provided us with an enthusiastic recount of how the Trebbio winery came to be.

The first two wines that we sampled: a light Chianti with about 7% alcohol content (bottle is shown in the middle) and a heavier Chianti with about 12% alcohol content (shown on the left).
We also tried three wines authentic to the Tuscany region. Two of which are "chiantis" made from a specific type of grape only found in Tuscany. One was quite light and had only been aged for about 6 months before it was bottled and one which was much heavier and had been aged for about 3 years. During the wine tasting, I got to learn all about the nuances of wine smelling, sipping and swirling.  Now, I quite enjoy swirling my wine around its glass to observe the level of the alcohol content although I still cannot tell for my life the different fruity aromas that each wine emits. With our wines, we also received a medly of tasty snacks including olive pate, bruchetta, pecorino cheese, Italian salami and freshly made olive oil all on homemade bread. During the tour through the dungeons of the castle, our tourguide also spent an extensive amount of time teaching us about the different qualities of oils and how to tell a really legit olive oil from a not-so-legit one.

The last wine we sampled which was a much heavier and very sweet dessert wine.
The last wine we tried was a dessert wine, it resembled more of a port than wine as it goes through a wild process of hot and cold fermentation for quite a few years. The alcohol content on this one was over 16% and tasted incredibly sweet. Not surprisingly, this was my favorite one of the three that we tried.

Snapshot of the outside of Trebbio Castle, a nearby edifice whose purpose I have forgotten and some misty rolling hills.
And yes it is true, the countryside of Tuscany really is absurdly goregous. It was raining the day we went which just made everything get covered in a romantic misty fog and added that much more to the countryside charm. The rolling hills and fields of oil trees and vineyards made the 1 hour bus ride to and back quite enjoyable.


  1. Ah...Toscana. One of my favorite places in the world. Good thing you made use of your extra time to have a little wine tasting adventure. From what I have learned, Chiantis go well with various chicken dishes, pizzas, and spaghetti. Dessert wines, such as Lucien Jacob Creme de Cassis, on the other hand, are great with dessert due to their perfect balance of tartness and sweetness of fruit flavors.

    Corey Glenn