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Daily Glass: Chianti Escapades

I haven’t done one of these ”daily glass” posts in a while, and at some point I really thought that these posts will be written daily. Some plans, huh? Okay, let’s talk about wine, shall we?

I have to tell you – once people know that I’m seriously ”into wine”, one of the first questions I hear is ”so, what’s your favorite wine?” – and this is the question I’m dreading literally the most – because I don’t have an answer. Depending on the mood, food, company and tons of other factors, I will be glad to drink different wines all the time. Better question might be – what wines I don’t like? You think you got me, right? No so fast.  The only wines I don’t like are those which are bad (yes, I know – very lame and predictable answer) – and luckily, there are really very few of those. But – as we are having an honest talk here – I have to tell you that there are wines which I’m generally trying to avoid. Not that I don’t like them, but I don’t get much out of them – on average, barring any exceptions. Not trying to create any loaded pause here – one kind of wine which I often trying avoid is Chianti.

Why? A lot of Chianti wines I tasted are flat in their flavor profile – Chianti is usually considered a nice and easy wine to drink – which it is, but this ”ease” also takes away most of the excitement for me. Of course we can not and should not generalize – as I said, I’m avoiding it, but this is not vegans-do-not-eat-meat kind of avoidance – I’m always ready to be surprised.

During the recent trip to Bottle King, I saw there 2008 Mazzei Ser Lapo Chianti Classico Riserva on sale. I did like the label, like the name (Ser Lapo, somehow it sounds good for me), like the price ($16.98), plus I have a bottle of 1988 Mazzei waiting to be opened – and I didn’t drink Chianti in a while – do you think that this is enough reasons to get a bottle? Yep, so did I.

Last Wednesday night bottle was opened. Beautiful dark garnet color – intense and promising. On the nose, there is energy – acidity, earthiness, some intense cherry flavor. Good start, right? I take a sip and…it is flat. Nothing is happening on the palate. I know I’m drinking wine, but that’s all – even after intense swirling in the glass, not much is happening. Gasp. This is precisely what I was talking about before.

It happens to be that recently I came across some notes from the ”unhappy” taster on Twitter, where ”leaf day” was suggested as a possible cause for wines not tasting right. After doing some research, I found lots of interesting read on Biodynamics – this is where the terminology is coming from (there is a lot of interesting discussions in blogosphere on the subject – here is one of the links for you). There is also an app for iPhone/iPad, called Wine Tonight, which I downloaded after doing the research. As you can imagine, when you have a problem nowadays, you look for an app for it, right? Yep, I decided to consult the app. Here is what I got:

Okay, that explains it, right? Let’s leave biodynamics aside, as this is actually the post about Chianti, and let talk about the wine. I had to run some errands, so I left the bottle opened for about two hours. When I’m came back, I poured another glass of the Ser Lapo, and…should I stop here and say ”to be continued”? Nope, will be too cruel, I agree – let’s continue. Swirl, sip – and ”hello, gorgeous” moment. The wine opened up beautifully, offering lots of dark fruit, like cherries and blackberries, hint of dark chocolate, earthiness and bright acidity with serious tannins coming in the long finish. Very balanced, great wine giving you lots of pleasure (Drinkability: 8+).

The wine opened up even further the next day, so it definitely will evolve in the cellar. By the way, I consulted ”Wine Tonight” app out of curiosity again, and it told me that it was a ”root day” and drinking of the wine should be generally avoided. So if I would listen to that app, I would have to avoid drinking wine for two days in the row – I don’t think I like that app at all.

That actually concludes my story – and I wish you to have a ”fruit day” every time you have a glass of wine in front of you. Cheers!

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