Chianti is a famous, delicious, and tasty red wine.
Originally hailing from Tuscany in Italy, it is a classic, and is considered a fresh, fruity, medium-bodied, dry red wine. Chianti wine is earthy, with a touch of spice, and occasionally a note of savoury due to the ageing process that occurs in oak barrels. It has a long ageing process and this is one of the reasons it’s considered a special (and often quite pricey!) bottle of red.
What Is Chianti Wine?
Chianti red wine is generally made from 100% Sangiovese grapes. Some bottles are a blend of grapes such as Canaiolo, Colorino and even Merlot. But in order for it to grab the title of being a “Chianti wine”, the bottle needs to be made up of at least 80% Sangiovese grapes.
Sangiovese are a thin-skinned grape with a deep, rich, ruby-red colouring. This delicious, deep red colouring shows up in the wine too. Chianti has a high acidity, and a high tannin content. To get the most out of the flavour of the bottle, allowing the tannins to breathe first before drinking is important.
Chianti is so deeply entrenched in Italian tradition and so famous all over the world, that the Italian government has quality and standard rules that must be adhered to by those that make the wine.
Where Is Chianti Wine From?
The simple answer to this question is that Italian Chianti wine is from Chianti in Tuscany, Italy. Chianti is an ancient wine that dates back all the way to the middle ages, and has been being perfected ever since.
Chianti’s winemaking zone spans into some surrounding provinces, such as: Prato, Florence, Arezzo, Pistoia, Pisa and Siena. The Chianti vineyards are one of the most highly yielding vineyards in the country, producing around 750 000 litres of wine annually.
The most loved and celebrated of the Chianti wine areas is the Chianti Classico zone. There are some award-winning wines that come from this area, Chianti Classico wines are usually the first bottle that you want to grab if Chianti is something you’re trying for the first time.
How Is Chianti Wine Made?
This is not a simple and straightforward question to answer. The different kinds of Chianti red wines that come from the different winemaking regions all vary slightly in their winemaking process.
Some of the Chianti Classico wines, for example, need to meet the alcohol level requirement of at least 12% and must spend, at an absolute minimum, 7 months ageing in an oak barrel.
Then there are some of the more refined bottles of Chianti Classico that require a minimum of 24 months of ageing in oak (if not more) and must have at least a 12.5% of alcohol content.
Chianti is known to age from the 7-month mark to the 10-year mark, or more. It is one of those wonderful wines that improve drastically with age.
What Does Chianti Wine Taste Like?
Chianti red wine is known for being a medium-bodied and delightfully earthy wine. It is highly acidic, due to its high level of tannins, which makes the underlying sweetness of the deeply rich-red fruit tones come alive. It’s a tart wine with floral, cherry-like flavours, which lend it a more savoury undertone.
Is Chianti wine sweet or dry?
Chianti is definitely considered to be a dry wine. This is due to its ageing and fermentation process. As we have already discussed, Chianti is best when aged well and properly, this process removes all the excess yeast and sugar in the wine, which in turn, makes the wine dry.
Is Chianti Light Or Heavy?
Chianti is considered to be a lighter-bodied wine. While it wouldn’t fall in the category of a light or a heavy wine, it is without a doubt on the lighter side. It is a powerful wine but maintains its delicate weight at the same time. It is an elegant wine, on the lighter side of the reds.
How To Drink Chianti Wine
Chianti red wine is best served chilled. Due to it being a lighter-bodied red wine, in order to achieve the best taste experience, it’s always best to serve slightly chilled. The cooler temperature also assists in the acidic overtones and helps create a smooth drinking experience. We recommend drinking a glass of Chianti at 12 to 15 degrees Celsius.
Is Chianti A Cheap Wine?
During the 1960s and 70s, Chianti had a reputation for being cheap wine, served in the laid-back cafes and pizzerias of Italy. Over time, Chianti wines have climbed the ranks of the wine world and there are now some really amazing and expensive bottles of Italian Chianti on the market.
The prices range from around 19 to 200 pounds per bottle. The price is all dictated by the region it comes from, ageing, fermentation, grapes used, and demand.
What Is Special About Chianti Wine?
Chianti is a special wine; it has an incredibly rich history that dates back to the Middle Ages as we have seen above. It has sailed through time, class, and continents due to its unique and intensely nurturing taste. It is a wine that tunnels its way into your heart and home with comfort and the intent to stay, making it a noteworthy red wine with much to offer.
Is Chianti Sweeter Than Merlot?
Chianti and Merlot are similar in some aspects but overall not many. They are both red, they are both dry, they are both rich and contain some similar undertones. But Merlot wine is made from the Merlot grape, and occasionally has other grapes blended in.
Italian Chianti is made from different grapes entirely, therefore these two are similar in some sense, but overall – not really.
What Food Does Chianti Wine Pair With?
Chianti being a classic Italian wine means it is best suited to being paired with classic Italian food.
Chianti is known for how wonderfully it compliments tomatoes in any format, so anything with a base of tomatoes is a great pairing. It also goes wonderfully with rich meats such as salami, smoked meats, duck, venison, and rich roasts. It also goes surprisingly well with pizza.