Chianti: Your very own Roman holiday

A nice bottle of Chianti.

I find it ironic when people refer to “the lazy days of summer” because it seems to be the season that passes the fastest. Still, somehow, the days do feel longer and there is finally time to enjoy the things we love, or to do absolutely nothing. Either way, I find myself with enough time to day dream which as a Pisces is a character trait that will never change.

In what feels like a “summer funk” this week, I am daydreaming and reliving some of the happiest times in my life, which occurred during the six months I lived in Rome as a college student. After all, that’s what good memories should do. They are like a safety blanket during uncertain times, and carry us through like an encouraging friend telling us we will have happy times again soon.

While Paris may be synonymous with romance, for me, my eternal love will always be the Eternal City. I was swept off my feet not by a handsome and charming Italian, but by Rome itself. Its sounds and sights, its smells, its people, its humor, its culture, its secrets, its texture and light, its history, and of course, its food and wine.

To really go back to this happy place and time, I’m having my own Roman Holiday this week. I just came from a showing of Woody Allen’s’ new film, “To Rome with Love” and uncorked a bottle of Chianti to sip my way through the old photo album. A New Yorker’s take on relationships in Rome? It was the perfect match for me. Turning the album pages, I am delighted to see that I haven’t changed much since then and even catch a glimpse of myself wearing a pair of jeans that still fit-bellissimo!

I pour myself a glass of Duca di Cardino 2010 Chianti (DOCG), as this may be a long night. It’s got a nice garnet color, but I am a bit disappointed by the lack of more information on the label. Chianti is almost a loose term as it is so synonymous with Italian red wine but the varying degrees of quality are plenty. Also, there is a big difference between Chianti and Chianti Classico, which is from a smaller and more specific region in Chianti. This is a Sangiovese blend noted simply on the bottle as “Red Wine”.

The only note I really get on the nose is plum. I am pleased to discover a bit more on the palette- notes of cherry, plum and a slight hint of raisin and spice. It’s medium bodied and displays very soft tannins on the mouth, a smooth feel and somewhat fruity, juicy taste. The experience does not transport me back to Rome unfortunately it’s just not that complex. There is a slight note of “wet leather” but I don’t have many layers to work with or taste through. Its medium finish doesn’t leave much of an impression on me, though it pairs very nicely with my grandma pie from Graziella’s.

Like Fellini’s “8 ½”, this Chianti makes me feel like a director with an unfinished work. I want to get more out of this wine, I just don’t know how to get there.

At $14 a bottle, it’s a good pick for a casual weeknight dinner but I wouldn’t be saving this for any romantic rendezvous.

As for Rome, there is not enough room on this blog to convey its splendor, you’ll just have to take my word for it and of course “do as the Romans do” when you finally get there…whatever that is…


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