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Old 01-19-2008, 01:43 AM   #69
tagesk OP
Tuscan rider
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Tuscany, Italy
Oddometer: 3,229
Talking Brunello

Originally Posted by Watercat
Please, I'd like a description of this (rare?) treat(Brunello) as I am soon to be 47 and it is yet to cross my lips! I need to know and perhaps, need not be deprived.
Wikipedia is your friend! A short but accurate and to-the-point introduction can be found here. My drinking experience is that one of the few things that seems to work here in Italy is the wine-classification system. The name Brunello di Montalcino can only be used if the wine has been made in Montalcino, according to the rules for the wine, AND the wine itself pass a set of tests conducted by officials from the Goverment before it is botteled. Every single bottle should have a paper-strip glued to the neck, or over the cork, certifying it has been tested.

Thus, even there are variations within the Brunello as the producers strive to excel, if they want to call their wine Brunello, there are strict limits to what they can do. For example: No other grapes than sangiovese are allowed, and thus the variations you can obtain is limited. The bottom line is that there is no reason to buy in the upper half of the price range. Normally I stay in the lower third, and I am very happy.

The Brunello is a very powerful wine. It will completely overpower small things like chicken or pasta with vegetables. This is a wine for game and other heavy-weight dishes. For my birthday dinner next week I will serve Bistecca Fiorentina (info here). Remember that the Brunello should be opened at least one hour before serving, and that many bottles have residue (or whatever you call the things that are sinking to the bottom of the bottle) so keep it upright for som ours before serving.

The picture at the top was taken in Chianti, just south of Siena a few kilometers noth of Montalcino. These fields have been farmed for (more than) 2.000 years and therefore there are no edges left. These are the rolling hills of Chianti! The bottom picture shows part of a Bistecca Fiorentina, a few salsicce, and a bottle of Chianti Classico. Note the paper label just visible on the top of the bottle.

Oh well - this thread is supposed to be about riding, not eating. But I got carried away, sorry. Tomorrow is Sunday and I'll make a proper ride report for you. Maybe I'll ride down and take a look at the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (info here).

'02 R1150GS - Adds life
My Riding in Tuscany-thread is here.
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