Chianti: message in a bottle

If you love traveling, if you love adventure or if when you were a child you dreamed of finding treasure island, certainly you know the importance of the messages in bottles: even Sting, the Police singer has dedicated a song to a “message in a bottle “. The message in a bottle can be helpful or even a love message: a romantic phrase you can drop into the sea and to the universe hoping to be picked up and read by another person.
Similar to the love messages seeking a “connoisseur” to be read and understood are the precious bottles of Tuscan wines. In fact, there is something red, strong, sometimes extreme, preserved in glass as the fine wines produced in this region are.
The arrival of the wine from the barrels to the bottles is not an easy step, you need experience and you must pay a lot of attention to succeed: the bottles must be clean, the moon in the sky must have the “right” phase, the air left between wine and cork it must be minimal: the oxygen in the air can ruin completely the wine!
Today we see the Chianti and Supertuscans in dark glass bottles called “Bordolesi” because always used for bottling of Bordeaux, but once the Chianti had its special bottle called “Fiasco”, “flask”, a word that has ancient origins, Greek or Latin, maybe from the word “soffiare”, i.e. “to blow”, which has the same root as the musical instrument “flute.”
The flasks were made by artisans blowing glass, so as to extract a shape swollen bulbous that could hold 2 liters of wine; that glass was green to protect the wine from light and also was caned with a grass marsh, of which Tuscany is rich being rich in water, which had broad, tough leaves and once dried they could be “woven” around the glass; the most common was the Typha, unmistakable flower that looks like a Havana cigar.
Both the blowing glass processing and the flask caning were the handiwork of fiascaio and fiascaie: very often whole families were involved in this work: the children were collecting the leaves, the women were drying and woveing and the men worked glass.
Today, the best Tuscan wines are known and in demand all over the world, production has greatly increased over the last century and so the fiasco, which has a fascinating form but cumbersome, has given way to the bottle “bordolese” that neatly store in the cellars and which it is also easier to dispatch to all destinations in the world.
But even if the flask is now rare to come by, the wine is always the excellent Chianti!
And you will discover during our Tuscan wine tasting tour that, after the long aging period in barrels, the wine completes the final step just in its “Bordeaux” bottle, to become perfect: this time it can be a few months or years, and so the bottle becomes the custodian of this delicate process.
So you can think that the bottle in front of you has come down to you, floating in time and space, bringing his “message of love” from the Earth to your glass, to you.