August 5, 2015 | By RJS Craft Winemaking
Tuscany. Is there any other word that so immediately brings to mind images of winding country roads lined with cypress trees beneath a brilliant blue sky? Many of those meandering byways also lead to some of the finest wineries on earth. Rich in history, Tuscany offers a leisurely and pleasurable journey for the senses, soul, and most importantly; the palate. A visit to even a few of its many wineries is a joyful way to discover some of the best food and wine pairings the world has to offer.
Tuscany was settled by the Etruscans in the 8th century BD and its viticulture history dates all the way back to this time. The most prominent grape grown in the region is Sangiovese, which has many variations. The Sangiovese grape alters its genetics to readily adapt to the soil and climate where it is located. Scents and flavours of this variety can range from the delicate floral and strawberry aroma of the Montefalco Rosso to the deep, dark tannic wines of Montalcino. Regardless of where it is grown, Sangiovese wine always exhibits cherry flavors with subtle notes of tomato.
Sangiovese is an extremely food-friendly wine, making it a perfect complement to some otherwise difficult pairings. It goes particularly well with herbs and tomatoes, which bring out its more fruity flavours, and olive oil helps to cut through the tannins. Tuscan specialties such as grilled red meat, white beans and mushrooms also make great pairing options and lighter styles of Sangiovese even pair nicely with grilled fish. Dubbed as our own perfect dinner companion, the Cru Select Italian Style Sangiovese offers aromas of ripe plums and black cherries accompanied by explosive notes of blackberries, prunes, and vanilla.
Tuscany is also home to some of the best styled indigenous wines known collectively as Super Tuscans. The term commonly refers to an unofficial category of red wines that are at least 85% indigenous to the area that do not use the Sangiovese grape as the dominant varietal. Instead, they are based on a Bordeaux-blend, usually of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Since many commercial Super Tuscan’s tend to be premium priced, making your own Super Tuscan with RJS Craft Winemaking kits offers an affordable alternative. We suggest making the Cellar Classic Winery Series Super Tuscan. These full-bodied wines are perfect appetizer wines; serve them with an antipasto platter of rich, hard cheeses and a selection of Italian meats, or try pairing with stuffed portabella mushrooms or bruschetta.
Italian vineyards have blessed winemakers with grape varieties that produce some of the best wine you will ever enjoy. There may be no better way to capture this rich history of wine than by hosting your own Tuscan style event – complete with Tuscan style craft wines. Alla tua salute!