Eager to experience all the cultural events, not to mention the vino, of the Firenze wine festival, we purchased our passes early, studied the map of the locations in town and arrived at our first destination precisely at 3:00 p.m. when it was scheduled to begin. But it didn’t. Silly Canadians.
We were in a courtyard inside a beautiful old building. The four inner walls were lined with long tables covered in white linen and wine bottles. Men stood around dressed in black suits looking serious.
We fell into a friendly conversation with a British family who own and operate the Castello di Potentino winery, in the Tuscan Maremma. They live in the Castello di Montepo, Scansano (castle) on the estate.The picture is from their website.
As a side line they have a bed and breakfast and hold special events such as Etruscan wine making with bare feet during the grape harvest. We thoroughly enjoyed our conversation, but we couldn’t try their wine — as the wine glasses hadn’t arrived.
The officials said five minutes. The vintner with a nod of the head said that would be five Italian minutes.
We carried on our conversation. We asked about the proper procedure for wine tasting. A Somoliar explained the stages: first holding the glass properly, second, swirling the wine to oxygenate it and check it’s color and clarity, smelling it as its bouquet grows, and finally tasting it.
Charlotte Horton, the winemaker, recommended identifying a particular quality of the wine to commit to memory. That is the way, she explained, to improve your palette.
Thirty minutes later there were still no wine glasses and our short conversation had grown long.
That was when we saw people flowing in with wine glasses. Ahah! We gave it another five minutes and then left for the next location.
Returning later, with glasses, we tried the Castello Di Potentino red wine. A light taste of paradise. A memory I cherish, and will take home with me. Imagine I talked with people who live in a castle and tasted their wine.
We also tried the Rose from the Fattoria di Monte Maggio from the heart of the Chianti Classico region which had a fresh fruity flavor. The woman gave us a fresh fig and salami from the estate to taste with it. Heaven.
At another tasting location we tried a fancy red wine, but it was heavy in comparison.
Needing a vino break we headed to the closest square in search of a cup of cappuccino and found a small market where we bought a bag of fresh biscotti (fig, apricot and dark and white chocolate), olive oil that tastes so fresh you’d think they just squeezed it this morning and another white cheese.
Then we returned home to our steps: