Christmas Tasting

To a child, the coming of December brings to mind the approaching festivities, a much-needed pause after the first few months of the school year. University students, on the contrary, might find their minds occupied by very different thoughts; burdened by exams that might both anticipate and follow that otherwise very pleasant time of the year. As, we couldn’t but try to lighten the mood, inviting our fellow students to one last event before the end of the semester.

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Fittingly for a Christmas-themed event, the common thread of the evening was “spices”. Not those that one would put in some vin brûlé, but those spicy flavors that naturally arise from the grapes used or the aging in barrels. Our first wine, Etna Rosso “Sul Vulcano” 2017 by Donnafugata, embodied this perfectly with its hints of nutmeg and cinnamon. Such notes, together with the aroma of wild berries, harmonized this otherwise very intense and tannic (almost harsh) volcanic red wine, underlining its pleasant freshness.

The following wine, an Etna Rosso DOC 2016 by Tornatore, acted as a perfect foil to its forerunner. Same volcanic terroir, similar grapes (a blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio, while Sul Vulcano only used the former), similar spicy notes… And yet completely different end results. Due to the further aging, it was a bit smoother; but it also had hints of sweetness, complemented by the red berries aroma, that the previous completely lacked, resulting certainly more approachable.

We then moved to Tuscany, to taste Toscana Rosso Syrah IGT 2017, by Tenimenti d’Alessandro. Another red wine, but in this case Syrah-based. The dominating spice was black pepper, often associated with this grape, together with some licorice. The balsamic and fruity aroma, its velvety tannin, and its fresh persistence made for an enjoyable experience.

To conclude the event, and to properly celebrate the occasion, it was time to have a toast with some nice sparkling wine. The wine we chose was Cuvée Carlo Negri, by Cantine Nino Negri, a wine that spent 15 months on the Leese and that is capable of further aging. With its notes of bread, hints of apple and berries, fine perlage, and dry flavor, it proved to be ideal for the occasion – and maybe even more so for a nice aperitif.

In the end, our guests had then the chance to taste Il Castagno Syrah, by Cantine Fabrizio Dioniso, a well-balanced Syrah from Tuscany, and Stefano Amerighi Cortona DOC, by Cantine Stefano Amerighi, both gifted to us by Consorzio Cortona Vini.

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We hope that everybody had fun and the chance to learn more about spicy wines in this last event of the year and of the decade, and we hope they will again in the future, for many times to come. Cheers!

B.You B.Glad B.Wine

Gianluca Pasi


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