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Everything You Need to Know About Chianti

Chianti refers to any wine produced in the Chianti region of Tuscany, Italy. It is a red wine that was historically sold in squat, round bottles in straw holders called fiasco. Nowadays, winemakers prefer to sell chianti in typical red wine bottles - only kitschy Italian restaurants keep the straw bottles, usually right next to a cartoon chef throwing a cartoon pizza.

Is chianti a good wine?

Tuscans are quite proud of chianti. Production is bound by many regulations to ensure no inferior products can infect the market. For instance, chianti must be made with at least 70% Sangiovese grapes. That level of quality control means you always know what you’re getting when you buy a bottle of chianti.

Is chianti dry or sweet?

Like the straw it used to be served in, chianti is very dry. Actually, chianti makers have recently considered allowing for the production of sweeter chianti to attract a wider audience of wine drinkers and help keep chianti a popular export.

What is the flavor of chianti?

Chianti has strong cherry flavors, with an oaky must underneath. It tastes best when it has aged and can grow fuller-bodied in flavor. It is a great wine to have with dinner, particularly any Tuscan dishes like steak florentine or ravioli in meat sauce.

What is the difference between chianti, chianti classico and chianti reserva?

Remember those production regulations? They include different categorizations for chianti that have higher percentages of Sangiovese grapes and are aged longer. Plain “chianti” is only required to have 70% Sangiovese grapes and is aged just three months, while chianti classico needs to have 80% Sangiovese and age for 10 months. Some chianti classico is “reserva,” meaning it has been aged for two years.

What are the best chiantis?

Scoring a 92 on Wine Enthusiast, Tommasi Amarone Chianti Classical is an absolute delight as its notes of black cherry and plum blossom on one’s palate. If you’re new to chianti and want to try it before diving into a classico, then we suggest going for Ruffino Chianti.