More About Chianti Chianti wine, made in the Chianti region of Tuscany, Italy, was once a basket-bottle drink - often accompanied by a red-checkered tablecloth. While most Chianti is now poured into ?standard? bottles, some companies still use the basket, called the ?fiasco,? to avoid breakage during transportation. A dry red wine that pairs wonderfully with a variety of foods, it is best served at 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Learn more about Chianti wine: The Roots of Italian Chianti The first Chianti wine is believed to have been produced in the 13th century near Florence. Merchants in nearby Castellina, Gaiole and Radda townships formed the ?League of Chianti? and produced the beverage locally. In 1716 the Grand Duke of Tuscany made these three townships the official producers of Chianti. These locations remained the official producers until 1932, when the federal government expanded this wine region to include Strada, Chiocchio, Barberino Val d?Elsa, Robbiano and San Casciano in Val di Pesa. Reputation In the past, Chianti was not considered one of the more popular wines, as many believed its quality paled in comparison to other reds. Wineries have worked to improve Chianti?s reputation, and it has earned its place among wine aficionados worldwide. While many versions of Chianti exist, the Chianti Classico is the most famous, and is regarded as the highest quality version. This wine has been referred to as the ?Bordeaux of Italy? due to its many variations. Young vs. Old Chianti wine may be enjoyed in both ?young? and ?aged? forms. The ?young? version features a fruity, fresh, sharp taste, while aged Chiantis are softer and more full-bodied. Usual flavors found in Chianti wine include plum, cherry, strawberry, spice, vanilla, almonds, tobacco and coffee. If stored for two to three years, the result is a more complex, if much less fruity, dry red. The fruity version is often appealing to those new to wine.
The color is fairly intense ruby red with livelier shades, and it has a sweet, full, fruity aroma with light elegant notes of spice. The flavor is smooth and lingering with a fruit finish. It best accompanies rich first courses, grilled meats and medium matured cheeses.