Today we tried a Banfi wine, the namesake of our school’s hotel’s restaurant.
Origin: Tuscany, Italy
Winemaker’s notes: “Fresh and fruity hints on the nose, well integrated in a round structure and full body. The lively acidity is well balanced with the rest of the structure. Ready to drink, pleasant and persistent. [It]… is pleasingly smooth and satisfying with its clean and distinctive flavours… Ideal with grilled meat dishes, poultry or pasta.”
Sunnie: I would say it’s very medium body, light on the tannins, and there’s a strong aftertaste.
Audrey: What varietal is this?
Sunnie: I think it’s just Chianti.
Audrey: Definitely not as familiar with that name as ones like Cabernet, or Pinot.
Sunnie: Time for some internet research… They age it for 4-5 months in a French oak barrel and after, another 4-5 months in the bottle. It is 75% of the Sangiovese varietal.
Audrey: I didn’t know Banfi’s makes this kind of wine. I’m really enjoying this Da Vinci painting on the bottle. This is very easy to drink… it’s almost sugar-y sweet and the aftertaste is not too strong or bitter.
Sunnie: Wines with Sangiovese grapes usually taste of ripe black fruits, like black cherries or plums. It’s usually used as a ‘blender’ varietal that’s added on to the local varietal. By itself, Sangiovese is usually too harsh and acidic. It’s the most-planted red varietal in Italy.
Audrey: Very cool, I can definitely taste the black fruits. It’s more fruity than floral.
Sunnie: Why is it so cheap? I don’t understand… it’s cheap and affordable, so great! Hm… I can definitely taste black cherry.
Varietal: Viognier (pronounced vee-ohn-NYAY)
Origin: North Coast, California
Winemaker’s notes: “Cline’s Viognier offers rich and distinctive aromas of pears, apricots, orange blossoms and honeysuckle.”
Sunnie: I don’t like it.
Audrey: Wow, already? Why?
Sunnie: I don’t like it.
Audrey: Oh, this is weird, you’re right. Not very drinkable for college kids. Although it does have a higher alcohol content than most wines.
Sunnie: Well maybe the flavor’s too young. I think it will mellow down the flavor if we drink it after 2-3 years.
Audrey: Gasoline. I taste gasoline…
Sunnie: Maybe we should chill it. Maybe that’ll improve the flavor.
(Ten minutes later)
Welcome to our new column where Sunnie and I will be ‘live blogging’ once a week about a different wine. School’s stressful and sometimes after a long day, you just want to pop a cork. We’re wine amateurs (although Sunnie’s taking the infamous Wines class and will be applying her education!) and might be bullshitting from time to time but like most young drinkers, we’re learning. Hopefully, this simple guide can help you find some good wines because let’s face it, selecting wines when you don’t know anything about them can be tricky. I’ve googled “good supermarket wines” on my iPhone while shopping more than once but it usually didn’t help. So, a bottle a week, it can’t be that tedious, right?
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Winemaker’s notes: “Offering intense flavors of cherry and plum, with delicate floral notes, and hints of vanilla… This versatile wine pairs beautifully with salmon, poultry, or risotto.”