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Wine Tasting: Super Tuscan or Chianti?

I admit it. Chianti brings to mind straw covered bottles with dripping wax candles glowing in them on a table covered with a red checkered cloth. Right? It is not a quality wine that comes to mind. That's not to say that there aren't some fine Chiantis now, but is there a difference between a Chianti and a Super Tuscan?

Chianti has a very interesting history, moving from the bastardized blend of red and white grapes in the 1970's into a wine made almost entirely from Sangiovese, changing the laws requiring white grapes to be used in the Chianti formula. The new laws provide a 15% blend of red grapes outside of Sangiovese. It is still a struggle by wine makers to decide whether to label their blend wines as a Super Tuscan or a Chianti.

Super Tuscans really do try to appeal to a more International palette. They tend to be big, bold and have a new oak flavor. These wines are not 'drink with spaghetti' style wines. They are not even what I would peg as an old world flavor due to their lack of subtlety. However a good Super Tuscan can be a great blend that I personally love sipping on when the evenings just start to turn crisp.

A traditional Chianti is meant for eating. True to the Italian lifestyle, this wine lends itself to food, thus it's drinkability and reputation as a spaghetti wine. It is high in acid, balancing out the tomato sauce, and low on tannins. It is actually compared more with a Pinot Noir than a Cabernet Sauvignon.

The blends are about the same for both wines so I guess your preference really comes down to what you need your wine to function as. If you're sitting around drinking with friends, reach for the Super Tuscan. If it's a family dinner with wine, pull out a Chianti. Either way, I don't think you'll be disappointed. Some of the Chianti's even come in the straw bottles if you're so inclined.

Wine Tasting for A Cause

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Buy The Wino Club Party Kit today and a portion of the proceeds will go directly to Michelle's Place, a breast cancer resource center supporting women under 40 so often ignored in the fight against breast cancer.

Go to The Wino Club for your kit today and help save a life!

Sangiovese Wine Tasting Tips

Sangiovese wine is all about tasting the rustic and savory flavors of earth. Look for the following flavors or scents when tasting Sangiovese:

Fresh Cherry Sun Baked Earth Spice Clove

Licorice Thyme Wood Toast Dried Orange Peel

Leather Chocolate Dried Cherry Sour Cherry