Last night I had a brief thought to drink some Italian wine in support of Italy, who were not doing a very good job in their football match against Paraguay. I remembered a pervious encounter with that dreaded juice though, and dug up a journal entry from about a year ago:
My quirky Italian friend, from a small town near Arezzo in Tuscany, has the endearing habit of sending gifts to all her friends to mark her own birthday in September. This year the gift was a little basket containing foodstuffs from her local produce market; a jar of clams, a bottle of herbed tomato sauce, chocolate and a wax-sealed bottle of Chianti.
There are endless references to Chianti on Google search.
The name conjures up images of virile men in olive groves, steamy bowls of fettuccini, Andy Garcia without his shirt…
I have read and heard many quotes about this wine, most memorable perhaps of the lot:
“I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti!”
Well, unlike the infamous Mr. Lecter, I like neither liver (perhaps chicken livers peri-peri as an exception) and I once bought a packet of fava beans at the Lusitoland Festival; I cooked them for three days and they never softened.
Feeling a bit like Sophia Loren in a Fellini film; I opted, instead, to use the clams and tomato sauce to make a fragrant sauce to pour over a big bowl of spaghetti, tossed together a quick side salad, put everything on a fitting checked tablecloth and opened the wine with great expectation.
What a disappointment! The taste resembled nothing so much as a Tupperware dish of rotten grapes left for six weeks in a hot motor car. From now on I am firmly in the ABC Wine Club:
Anything But Chianti…
Alas, last night’s match resulted in a 1-1 draw. Not that I am becoming interested in football, you understand!
Read this clever poem that uses wine to tell history: