Madison Originals Magazine Madison Originals Magazine February 2012 - Page 44

44 | madison originals magazine Some things just sound better in Italian. Slick, expensive cars with exotic names like Lamborghini Gallardo and Maserati Granturismo. Unbelievably stylish fashions from Prada, Gucci, and Armani. An antipasto platter lled with crostini, salumi, and formaggi. On a recent trip to Tuscany, it was easy to understand why Italians place such emphasis on taking time to savor a good meal. Relaxing on the patio of a tiny trattoria, which overlooked a breathtaking panorama of cypress trees, olive groves, and rolling hillsides, I enjoyed a leisurely lunch with a great bottle of local wine. Tuscan food is truly unforgettable, but the real key to every great Italian meal is the vino. Wine is not treated as an accessory or afterthought, but as an integral part of the meal.As Americans, most of us are familiar with the famous Italian reds from TuscanyChianti and the decidedly more expensive Brunello di Montalcino. I have recently become enamored with the omni-present Sangiovese grape, Italys most widely planted red grape varietal. However, while Chianti and Brunello (both composed of Sangiovese) are indeed popular, there are two other expressions of this workhorse grape that are worth noting: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, the wine served in the noble houses of Montepulciano since the 17th century, and the relative newcomer Morellino di Scansano. Montepulciano is the highest hill town in Tuscany, resulting in breezy, moderate temperatures and unique microclimates in the vineyards that surround this beautiful village. By contrast, Morellino vineyards are located in a warmer coastal environment, which creates riper grapes that are not as age worthy as the Prugnolo Gentile grapes (the specic clone of Sangiovese) used in Vino Nobile. Morellino production is centered around the medieval hilltown of Scansano in Southwestern Tuscany, having only been granted DOCG status (a distinction that signies a better bottle of wine) in 2007. How the word Morellino, which means little brown one in the local dialect, came to describe the local wi Rg&FRw&76WF&f6R2&Bbח7FW'vV6ƖRFR6VBWG'W662v6R6WGFVBF2'BbGW66&Ff&RFFWV6B&VƖF666&Rv'F6VVrWBFWfRfFVBV6bFRR&VBFVB&6W2B6R66W26G&fW'7bFV"&RfW26W626FB''VVFRfvr&R6Rbג7W'&VBff&FRGW66&VBvW26W'FFG&fRvFRvFW"&VW2VFV2FRFƖ2FwvFVGbvBfBw&VB6BƗfVǒ6fW'6F By Callie Steffen