Chianti is a famous dry red Italian wine produced in Tuscany, and it is one of the most credited wines in the world. It is named after the Chianti wine-growing region in Tuscany. The wine-area called Chianti has been known since 1716. Warm climate, dry soil full of nutrients and minerals necessary for the grapes, and skilled vintners, - all these factors add to the wonderful taste of Chianti wine and gained this wine a great world reputation.
Chianti area is divided into sub-areas: Classico, Colli Aretini, Colli Fiorentini (Montespertoli), Colline Pisane, Colli Senesi, Montalbano and Rùfina.
Starting with the 19th century, Chianti is 70% of Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 15% Malvasia bianca. Sometimes it is combined with a little Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Cabernet Sauvignon. Less harsh than a Cabernet Sauvignon and more subtle than a Zinfandel, Chianti is one of the best well-known Italian wines in the world.
There are three basic types of Chianti. Chianti di pronta beva is the wine that is not meant for aging, you should enjoy it young. The second type of Chianti is designed for aging. It is typically full to medium-bodied, dry with fruity, floral and earthy flavors. As you taste it, you can experience black cherry, beef, earth, oak, and vanilla flavors on the palate. The third type of Chianti is the Riserva, which can only be produced in the best vintages and require longer aging. Reserva Chianti is a full-bodied wine, which has a floral bouquet with hints of some pepper and spice. Reserves Chiantis are of dark red color. These velvety wines can be rather expensive, the most expensive bottles being of best vintages: 1997, 1995, 1990, 1988, and 1985.
Historically associated with very elegant straw-covered flasks, very few winemakers produce Chianti in such flasks nowadays. Most Chianti wines are bottled in traditionally shaped wine bottles.
Chianti that meets more stringent requirements, such as lower yield, higher alcohol content and dry extract, may be labeled as Chianti Superiore. Chianti Superiore wines can be produced only from grapes cultivated in the Chianti wine areas, except from the Chianti Classico sub-zone vineyards.
Chianti is often used as a dinner wine, and is great with Italian pastas with meat sauces, pizza, bean soups, game, for example, chicken, red meat and cheese. It goes well with steaks or other grilled meat. Any tomato-based sauce will be an ideal pairing for Chianti. A grilled Tuscan steak marinated in olive oil and garlic is considered a perfect match for a bottle of Chianti.