Wine Tasting Steps
My wine experiences consisted of a large container with a spout or a sales bin bottle with the most striking label. All I had to know was my preferences and how I enjoyed the wine. It was Italy that I chose, as it is the best country for wine production.
They also taught me the basic rules of drinking and living. There are five steps to tasting wine: see, swirl and sniff, then savor, then swallow. You should take the time to observe the clarity and color, the wine’s viscosity, aromas, and flavors, and then taste every sip with intention.
It was very helpful to learn how to taste wine properly. This helped me appreciate the work involved in making quality wine.
We visited many different wineries and vineyards in Piedmont and Tuscany during our trip. Piedmont is a great place to find high-quality red wine due to the extreme temperature variations between day and night.
Piemont vineyards produce Nebbiolo and Barbera grapes as well as Moscato and Cortese grapes. These grapes are used to make a wide range of wines including Moscato, Barolo, and Barbera. Grapes are harvested and taken to the winery, where they are aged in beautiful bottles.
The Gianni Gagliardo Winery was our first stop in Piedmont. It produces the renowned Barolo wine and offers 10 wine options. Barolo is known as the “king of wines”, and it offers a balanced flavor range of fruit, acidity tannin, aroma, age, and taste.
Italy Wine Tasting Rooms
Paolo Gagliardo was our grandson. We were shown the incredible view of the vineyards and given a tour through the wine cellars and fermentation barrels. Although the winemaking process is complex, it is fascinating to see how it works.
We sat down at a large circular red table, lit by one light in a darkened room. Paolo gave us tasting samples of several wines after the tour. After swirling the wine in our glasses, we inhaled the aromas and then took a small sip to let the rich, burgundy liquid flow over our lips. All were delicious and I couldn’t resist asking for my glass to be filled to the brim.
You can try several wines before you buy a full glass. It is common to taste your wine before tasting the rest. This allows you to enjoy each wine without feeling overwhelmed.
Next was Michele Chiarlo, La Morra. Stefano Chiarlo welcomed us to his stunning property perched high above Nebbiolo vineyards.
The state-of-the-art tasting room is located in a beautifully restored building, surrounded by exposed brick and fermenting wine barrels. It houses a long dining table that sits atop a polished floor that glows like a disco dance floor. The lighting effect is both functional and beautiful. It allows you to accurately analyze the color and clarity of the wine.
Michele Chiarlo makes 24 wines so there are plenty of options. Wine Spectator and Decanter have given the Barolo Cerequio, Barbera d’Asti Superiore Nizza La Court high praises for their quality and taste. The Chiarlo winery is located in the midst of prestigious Barolo single vineyards, making it a unique stop for wine connoisseurs.
After enjoying a delicious, fresh, and beautifully presented gourmet lunch consisting of filet mignon encrusted with basil and pasta with tomato sauce and burrata cheese, we enjoyed wine and looked out at rolling vineyards.
Although we didn’t make it to the Palas Cerequio hotel, the stunning views and the charming chapel were enough to make me want to. We met a young couple who were on honeymoon and they told us that they enjoyed their stay.
We moved on to Tuscany after exploring Piemont. The Tuscan region is well-known for its hilly terrain and higher elevation, which results in higher temperatures, which helps grapes retain a balance of sugars and acidity.
Tuscany is renowned for its red wine production. Its most well-known wines are Chianti, Brunello, and more recently, Super Tuscans. There are many grape varieties that can be grown in the Tuscan region, including Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as Trebbiano and Merlot.
Rocca Delle Macie
Rocca delle Macie was my favorite Tuscany stop, partly because of Georgetta, our charming host. With a beautifully tailored dress and Alexander McQueen sunglasses, she embodied elegance and sophistication. She was also entertaining and witty and shared a wealth of knowledge about wine, olive oil production, and local history (ask the black rooster).
Rocca delle macie was the most comprehensive of all our stops. They covered every aspect from beginning to finish of wine tasting in Italy. You can also enjoy a full-service restaurant and luxurious rooms while you relax with a glass of Chianti under the sun.
Georgetta, who accompanied us on our tour of the facility, explained to us that one bottle is made from six grape bunches. The barrel holds 13,000 bottles of wine and is quite impressive, she explained.
She took me on a tour through the bottling area. It was like being transported to the Italian version of Laverne & Shirley’. A conveyor system moved hundreds of bottles through it to be labeled or foiled.
Chianti wine must contain at least 75 percent Sangiovese. It was also a delight to try something from Italy I’ve known for many years.
Even more fascinating was the ability to taste the subtle differences in the Chianti Classico aged nine months and the Grande Selezione aged thirty months. Chianti is undoubtedly the most well-known Italian wine. Each year, nine million cases of Chianti are distributed around the world.
There are 21 varieties of red and white wines. I’m pretty sure we tried them all during our stay.
Rocca delle Macie also hosts the Olive Garden Culinary Institute of Tuscany. Here, 100 of the most talented chefs and managers of U.S. Olive Garden Restaurants can receive specialized training. If I’m being truthful, none of the food we tried was anything like what I had at Olive Garden.
I was armed with a wealth of wine knowledge and a belt that was one notch shorter when it was time to go home. It wasn’t the wine I missed, it was the stunning scenery I was able to enjoy.
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