… in Montalcino! Is there anyone who does not know Brunello wine ??? Brunello is the name that was given to the Sangiovese grape native of Montalcino. Brunello is one of the most famous red wines in Italy and all around the world, it is also one of the wines with longest life among the red wines of Italy. Sangiovese Grosso or Big Sangiovese is the clone that is grown in the beautiful rolling hills around Montalcino, and once you taste it, YOU WILL LOVE IT. Brilliant wine with vibrant garnet colour, intense, full bodied and complex, with a long period of aging – it is hard to say for how long the wine can age in the bottle, it can last up to 10-30 years. Obviously it depends on the vintage, and on the temperature you have in your cellar. Brunello di Montalcino is paired with really structured dishes, like read meats, aged cheeses, or can be enjoyed like a meditation wine, I can say with a 60-month aged Parmesan cheese, and my personal tip is to taste Brunello Riserva with pure & dark chocolate. Decanting is needed for this wine and large glasses too, so the wine can breath even in the glass, not only in decanter, that is used at first for the sediments. Visiting Montalcino for a wine tour with me you will enjoy the beauty of this place with its history, wine and food; it is a wonderful adventure to go through the stories of the land, of the wineries, of the food, with a glass of great Brunello in your hands – this is a dream you must live.
By the way, a few weeks ago I was at the Brunello 2015 preview and tasted something like 73 labels, can you believe it ? I was in a good mood, oh boy you must have this terrific experience in Montalcino with me. Do I have to say more to make you come? You are welcome in this amazing part of the world, Montalcino in Tuscany, Italy; I’ll be happy to show its beauty to you in one of my private guided Brunello wine tours!

Living in Tuscany and speaking about cheese I can say a lot of Pecorino di Pienza. I am sure you know that there are different types of Pecorinos in Italy: Pecorino Romano, Pecorino Sardo, Pecorino Toscano and Pecorino Siciliano, but in my opinion the Tuscan cheese from Pienza in the Orcia Valley is the best ever. In these beautiful hills the pecorino cheese is made with sheep’s milk from sheep which originally came from Sardinia, and is aged in barriques, covered in ashes, tomato, straw and walnut leaves. Depending on the ageing, there come three types of Pecorino, Fresh, Semi aged and Aged – I love them all ! In a cheese tour you can see, learn and make your own cheese if you like, isn’t this fantastic? I am sorry but talking about pecorino I get a little thirsty and automatically comes out the wine you can pair it with. The fresh pecorino pairs well with different kinds of breads made with Walnuts, Raisins, Cumin, and with fresh white wines. The semi aged pecorino is perfect with fresh fruit like pears and grapes, with red wines that are not full bodied like Pinot Noir or a smooth Merlot, also good whites like Vernaccia di San Gimignano or Sauvignon. The aged pecorino goes well with big red wines like Brunello, Barolo, Amarone or a good Franciacorta Brut, also Barbera, Dolcetto D’Alba or Valtellina Superiore are not bad at all

Obviously the perfect combination is the kind of cheese you like with wine you love – this works always with me and am sure it is the same for you. In my wine and food tours I always say this, the good food and the great wines are a matter of pleasure … and it is YOU who choose what to taste. Contact me to arrange your private pecorino cheese tour & tasting in Cortona, Pienza, Tuscany!

Montepulciano, set 605 metres high on top of a hill, is a known town between Val D’orcia and Val di Chiana in Tuscany, Italy, close to the border with Umbria. Here was born one the most famous wines of Tuscany known in the entire world, called Vino NOBILE di MONTEPULCIANO, made with a clone of Sangiovese called Prugnolo Gentile, which is blended with a small amount of Canaiolo and Mammolo grapes – although now some wineries have started to make it with 100% Prugnolo Gentile grapes. The combination of the soil made of sand and clay creates the ideal conditions to produce a well structured and fragrant wine, but with fine tannins. This wine got the DOCG assignment in 1980; in the area you can find also a simple and fresh but very good ROSSO di MONTEPULCIANO and the UNIQUE VINSANTO di MONTEPULCIANO. I did not miss the chance to go there for the NOBILE preview of the 14th February 2015, as it is one of my favourite wines, because it pairs perfectly with every dish you like. I tasted a lot of Nobile di Montepulciano and Nobile Riserva, I found some wines I hadn’t tasted before and discovered small wineries that produce Nobile wines with spectacular colour, smell and taste that I would love to share with you. When you decide to come to Tuscany this can be one the most important areas to tour with me, visiting great wineries and small food producers, and have memorable wine, cheese, olive oil and meat tastings – contact me to plan your private guided Nobile wine tours in Montepulciano, Tuscany!