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A wine tasting at a beautiful vineyard is one of the quintessential attractions of Tuscany. Passion for Italy is proud to send our clients to a special winery near the charming medieval town of San Gimignano. I had the pleasure of participating in a tasting here. It is one of my most special memories of Italy.
We sit at the table under a wisteria draped pergola for our lunch consisting of several courses, all perfectly complimented with a variety of wines from this vineyard.
I am a vegetarian, severely allergic to meat, so I always ask in advance if there is a vegetarian option to avoid an embarrassing scene. As we sip of the first gorgeous chianti, our host exclaims “We have a vegetarian, chi e`?” I shrink in my seat and raise my hand. Never has embarrassment been such fun. This place makes guests feel like old friend.
“Ah! Principessa! You will like this soup, my grandmother’s soup. It is vegetarian, here, take a bite. Wait, who is this man?” Everyone laughs as he raises the spoon to my lips and I tell him that man is my husband. After asking permission, he offers me a spoonful. Thankfully, our host is much more graceful than I am, and manages to avoid spilling it all over me.
He continues guiding us through the tasting, first explaining the proper way to hold a glass and swirl the wine to reveal its complexity. We enjoy a variety of exquisite wines ranging from Vernaccia di San Gimignano, to Chianti Classico, Brunello to Super Tuscan, Vino Nobile to Vin Santo. Good luck holding your glass properly after a few tastes!
After the soup, comes a pasta, and we all get to try the truffle oil, which our passionate guide explains has, shall we say, special powers. He winks at my husband, and every husband as he generously pours the delicious oil over our pasta.
Special powers or not, it is a special treat. As is the aged balsamic, closer to the consistency of molasses than the balsamic vinegar we find here in the states. The tasting ends with lovely dessert and a glass of Vin Santo. Serving Vin Santo to welcome one’s guests is a Tuscan tradition; one of the region’s many charms.
Strolling the beautiful grounds after the tasting leaves a warm feeling in our hearts as we leave, determined to return to this special place time, and time again.
Passion for Italy Travel, USA America Office