A year ago September, we quit our jobs, rented out our house, packed 10 lbs of clothes and 20 lbs of travel guides into our backpacks and headed to Europe. We started in Paris, made our way down through France into Spain, bumped over to Berlin and finished up with a month and a half in Italy, most of the time spent in a rented flat in Florence.
Needless to say, we drank some wine. We’re not connoisseurs by any means, nor are we wealthy, so the bulk of it was rosso della casa, but when rosso della casa is washing down a stunning Pappardelle al Cinghiale prepared in a tiny Tuscan hamlet on the way to natural bubbling hot springs, well, it acquires a certain flavor that can’t be bottled.
Our best wine experiences, though, came when we made the acquaintance of Luca, a sommeliere who spent his Saturday afternoon’s at Florence’s oldest wine shop leading tastings. We’d while away our day with him, taking wine instruction between nibbles of cured meats and tripe sandwiches.
A few times, they’d close the store for the day, sealing out the hoi polloi and leaving just us and a few regular inside, and break out a bottle of something special. A dusty bottle of Brunello di Montelcino was one such wine. The others shook their heads as they drunk, pushing their lower lips out in a pout and blowing short raspberries in shocking admiration, and even our unrefined tastes could tell it was something truly special.
Well, if you drop in on City Cellars tonight (Friday) between 5 pm and 7 pm, we don’t think Luca will be there, but you will get to enjoy other wines of Tuscany. As they do every Friday, they are holding a “drop-in”, informal evening tasting, this week featuring “Italian Super Tuscan Values”. A flight of up to three wines cost $3-$5 and this week they will have San Felice Perolla 2006, Renzo Masi Erta e China 2005, and Rocca delle Macie Sasyr 2005 on hand.
Customers are encouraged to swirl, pout and blow short raspberries in appreciation.