Sangiovese is the grape used to make Sangiovese di Romagna an Italian varietal red wine, characteristically strawberry flavored with some spiciness. The wine when aged in oak barrels may attain an oaky or tarry flavor. The other varietal wines made with Sangiovese are Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino. Chianti and Carmignano are a couple of famous blended wines made using Sangiovese.
History of Sangiovese Wine
Sangiovese, referred to as Sangiogheto by G.Soderini( who was popular by the pen name Ciriegiulo) of the ancient times, was found to have been cultivated for the first time by Etruscans of Rome as early as 1590. Cultivation of the grape gained momentum in the 1700 along with Malvasia and Trebbiano. The production of blended Sangiovese wine was started in around 1738 when the unblended version of the wine was declared too acidic and hard. Chianti was one of the earliest blended wines made with Sangiovese and Caniolo.
Regions Producing Sangiovese Wine
Sangiovese, to being with, are grown in the Chianti Classico and Montalco regions of Italy. Tuscany, Sicily, Emilia- Romagna, Abruzzo and Marche are the other Italian regions in which it is produced. From Italy it spread to the Americas, Mendoza and Argentina. Corsica, France and Australia are the other countries in which Sangiovese is cultivated.
Preparation of Sangiovese Wine
Sangiovese is a highly acidic and light-bodied fruit and techniques such as adjusting the temperature and length of fermentation, or intense oak treatment are being employed to add body and texture to the Sangiovese wine. Maceration is also extended from 7-12 days to 3-12 weeks to enhance the quality of the wine. Malolactic fermentation in oak barrels is done to make the wine feel soft and round. Blended wines have resulted mainly from the fact that other grapes are added to overcome the defects of the Sangiovese.
Food Pairing for Sangiovese Wines
Sangiovese varietal wine, being of a highly acidic nature and moderate alcohol content is compatible to a number of foods, especially bland dishes such as roasted chicken and meatloaf. Dishes seasoned with sage, basil, and thyme also pair well with the Sangiovese wine. The oak treated wine pairs well with smoked and grilled foods.
Serving Sangiovese Wine
Sangiovese varietal wine is best served at 50 F- 55 F. Wine that is served at higher temperature tastes acidic and that served at lower temperature will not be very flavorful.