I think the thing I love most about wine, especially when it is paired with delicious food, is its ability to transport you somewhere beautiful. When sipping on a glass of wine from Italy, for example, I like to imagine the rolling hills of Tuscany or the vineyards of Chianti while indulging in the effortless romance of Italian cuisine. It’s why when we had the opportunity to partner with Castello di Gabbiano to celebrate their historic winery and the beauty of Italy, I simply had to tell you all about it. I also simultaneously started looking online for trips to Italy for the team and I to visit the Tuscan castle and immerse ourselves in la dolce vita. After all, I’ve yet to visit Italy and what better time to start planning?
“The first historical references to Gabbiano date from the 11th century, when work began on the square tower, which was built to defend one of the most important communication routes between Florence and Siena.” This iconic winery started it’s journey to where it is today back in 1124. Yes, 1124. For almost 900 the winemakers have been crafting a truly beautiful embodiment of what Chianti is all about. Both the region and the varietal hold complexities and elegance in their history and I was so excited to hear what Nick had to say about the tasting lunch we recently attended here in Toronto.
Federico, the winemaker at Castello di Gabbiano featured in the above video, made the long trip to Toronto to celebrate his beautiful wine with us and he couldn’t have been more charminh. Over a delicious meal at Mangia & Bevi we had the chance to chat with him about the accomplishments of the winery and why he loves what he does so much. I like to believe that the passion and intensity associated with all things Italy were reaffirmed during this lunch.
Pinot Grigio is one of those wines that will make almost anyone happy, and trust me when I say that Italy makes some of the best in the world. Citrus flavours, along with a great acidity and apple sweetness help to create a balanced bottle of white wine. Acidity is very important when you are pairing wine since it will allow you to cut through flavours while also playing off of items such as a creamy pasta or cheese. Or, let’s be honest, after a long day at the office when you need to unwind!
Chianti is a wine that, for some time, saw a decline in popularity when more aggressive red wine flavours took over the popular wine world. There is a subtle complexity to this red wine, which notes of dark berries and spices. I would always pair it with rich flavours such as truffles, steak and mushrooms to allow for the elegance to come through on the tongue. Balance is key for this beautiful wine, but it is so effortless and romantic at the same time. One of my personal favourites!
Taking the notes from the above notes, but with a little more wisdom. I guess that comes with age, or at least that is what I like to tell myself as I get older myself! There is a certain earthy and smoky flavour that comes through in this bottle of wine which makes it the perfect pairing for game meats, hearty pasta sauces and aged cheeses. I of course always picture myself cuddling up by the fire in an Italian castle with Julio enjoying a bottle on a romantic night, but that’s just my version of la dolce vita.
If you’re looking to impress your dinner guests or that special someone, this is the bottle for you. With a beautiful depth of fruit, contrasted with a balanced acidity, this well rounded wine has a silky finish that leaves you wanting more. Pair this with dark chocolate, fruity desserts and a romantic partner to share a bottle of two. The Italians are known for their romance for good reason after all.
* Please note the above links will lead you to your local LCBO if you are based in Ontario – my go-to for beautiful wines from Castello di Gabbiano. You can also check your local liquor distributor to see what they have in stocked. Be warned, this wine is so amazing that it won’t stay on the shelves for long, so pick it up while you can!
These wines don’t only have me excited. After our lunch and intimate tasting with Federico, celebrity Chef Massimo Capra wanted it present as his wine of choice for the opening of Capra’s Kitchen in Mississauga (click here to check out their beautiful website and new space). After all, like I said above, there is nothing more beautiful than good wine with good food, and this combination was perfect. Here are a few of our favourite moments from the night:
And if that wasn’t enough, did I also mentioned that Castello di Gabbiano also is the Global Winner “BEST of WINE TOURISM” — Castello di Gabbiano Global Winner “Best of Wine Tourism” 2014 ? For this and so many reasons, it has become one of our favourite wines to live a more beautiful life. I will also quickly note that for those of you looking to get me a birthday present later this year, you can also book a stay at the castle and winery itself (click here to see how) – not THAT would be the trip of a lifetime!
For more inspiration from one of the best winemakers in the world, make sure to join in on the social media conversation by following @CastelloGabbiano on Instagram, @CastGabbiano on Twitter and by ‘Liking’ their Facebook page today. Tag them in your photos to share what food you feel pairs best, or what special moment you raised a delicious glass of Italian wine to. We can’t wait to share in your memories while you embrace la dolce vita with us.
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Please remember to enjoy responsibly and never drink and drive.
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