Time to try more Chianti?

I spent the past few days in Florence; a city that I will definitely need to return to in the near future! I spent cool misty mornings and sunny afternoons wandering all corners of the town with a stiff neck and blistered camera button finger bearing testament to the historical and architectural  wealth of the city. But this is not a travel blog, so I’ll save that ramble to bore my friends with over a glass of wine some time soon.

I was pleasantly surprised by a few of the wines that we tasted in local restaurants. I may have simply been shopping in the wrong places to date, but my experience of Chianti has tended to be a bit disappointing. Simple, one dimensional wines with some cherry fruit and not much else.

From my experiences in Cape Town restaurants, surrounded by fantastic wine producers, house wines have always been pretty shocking. On a recent trip to Corsica the house wines tasted like they had been open since the house was built. But the times that we stopped for a casual glass of house wines in Florence they were more than decent, and at very cheap prices. €3 to €4 for a big glass of red in the centre of a touristy town? Not too bad at all.

To accompany an intimidatingly large steak Florentine at a great trattoria, the waiter suggested a bottle of Fontodi Classico. I was surprised by the recommendation as it was only €30 and we were clearly tourists. But it was a great suggestion and went perfectly with the steak. There was loads of blackberry and bramble along with a gentle influence of oak. And of course that hint of ripe cherries on the finish. Things always taste better when you’re on holiday, but I think I’ll be seeking out a few more decent Chianti in the future.

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