Italy take on the USA tomorrow and so I’ll settle down with a nice glass of Chianti. I cycled through Tuscany last year, where I really developed a taste for the stuff.
Melini have been making Chianti for 300 years, and they do it pretty well. They also do it at supermarket friendly pricing. You can pick up their basic Chianti at £5-6 at most outlets. It’s not a Classico, but the company claims that much of the fruit comes from within the Classico region.
The wine is red, really red, not ruby, not garnet, or claret or any of those purpley kind of words, it’s red and looks like fresh squeezed grape juice. It smells fresh too. There’s plenty of cherries and a hint of almonds, although the chemical compounds for the smell of cherries and almonds are very similar. I have no idea why. There’s a hint of wood, but not a wallop of oak.
It’s dry with a crisp acidity, with some firm tannins. The cherry flavour really comes through, it’s refreshing and more-ish. There’s a rich fruitiness which underpins the cherries. It would go exceptionally well with tomato based Italian dishes, and could partner steak, or a dish of mushroom stroganoff. At 12% it’s a civilised wine, and won’t knock you off your chair after two glasses.