Incredible Italy

Written by Magandeep Singh | Magandeep Singh | Updated: Jun 7 2010, 04:38am hrs
I know I am stealing from another countrys marketing campaign, (viz our own) but I just have no other words to describe what I have been lucky enough to experience recently.

I boarded a flight to Tuscany, the region where the sun never sets, or at least hangs around in the sky long enough to give you reason and logic to invest n a convertible.

I was there, not just for the winein one week I travelled through more than six cities and over 200 years of culture and historybut wine was definitely an integral part of it.

Chianti is one of the most popular regions for vines and wines in the world. The wines are all red and are named after the region, Chianti. Thats to be pronounced kee-aan-tee, very different from what the French would pronounce it but then what do they know, eh

But this is where the Italians know too much. The region of Chianti is perhaps the bigger appellation. There are several smaller sub-regions, surrounding the village-towns of the region of Chianti. Greve-in-Chianti can then be considered the capital of the region and to further justify this, they have a neat little wine museum there. This is right next to a wine bar (aka Enoteca), which has one of the largest collection of bottles from the region (as also from other regions) on display and a sizeable number of them, available for tasting. You can purchase a small credit card-like device and keep tasting wines around the room till the credit runs out. A neat little way to taste some of the most prestigious wines of the world for as little as one Euro, or lesser!

I also visited some winehouses: Vinomaggio, Querciabella, Fonterutoli. Each was interesting and engrossing in themselves. The first had a historical villa dating back centuries. The second is so secluded that unless you know where you are driving to, you would never know where to look for it. The third one is much easier to locate, given that there is an entire village with the same name guarding it. The winery is one of the most modern structures in the world, built mostly underground so as to not to spoil the pristine panorama of the 13th century village. The wines were great at each venue, but what made them more interesting and intriguing was the story behind each of them. Spending time with the respective representatives, understanding just what made them different and then, to be physically there enjoying wines under the famed Tuscan sun I am sure I was giving in to a little circumstantial preferential partiality. But I too am only human. Well, sometimes.

But more modestly, Tuscany was an excellent place to visit, whether you like wines or not. There is enough to do there and eat there and, of course, taste there that will keep you and your loved ones busy and fed and happy, respectively. Summers is the best time to go, so if you are still sitting around reading this, then you are already wasting time. Ciao!

The writer is a sommelier