Wines, food, dance: kill me softly!
Once, if you had to make a long trip in a carriage or on horseback, to rest and divide the journey into stages you found on larger and frequented roads the “post houses” where change or to rest the horses and many of these were the “osterie “, inns, from the Latin word “hospes”, or guest. Here you could stop to eat and to drink and often sleep in the overlying room kitchen and dining room with long wooden tables where everyone, rich and poor, they sat at the same table. In our days, many of these taverns have survived and have become “charming restaurants” because they always offer genuine food and wine in a setting which has remained the same from past centuries, with the charm of the old thing.
But not every old thing has charm! For those who love wine, for example, the italian verb “infinocchiare” that literally means “to put in a fennel”, it means instead “to cheat”. In fact, in the old days, when there were no modern methods of aging and correct storage of wine, it often happened that the wine deteriorate, but the landlord who did not want to lose the gain offered to unfortunate travelers a house starter made with fennel.
Fennel is a vegetable with a very aromatic taste, and eating a bit before drinking wine, you hardly notice of its taste: so the “tricky” hosts were certain of being able to serve immediately after the wine of poor quality, and even making people pay for it!
There are other foods that are able to “kill” the wine: when, here in Tuscany, you want to make a perfect tasting of Chianti, Super Tuscan or a Vernaccia di San Gimignano, always remember not accompany it with salad or crudités with vinegar, or with a course with a lot of garlic, or artichokes, leeks and spinach, all of them are able to cover all the aromatic and fragrant components of the wine. The truth is, as in a good marriage, the right food enhances the taste of the wine.
Perhaps it is for this reason that, lately, our wine tours in San Gimignano have much success: the ancient medieval village in the territory of Siena is the heart of the production area of Vernaccia, the aromatic white wine, unique in the world. During the tour, including visits to wineries and vineyards, there is also a special lunch of dishes prepared with the precious saffron, which will be accompanied by the famous Vernaccia.
You’ll discover what it means the right match between food and wine, which can be compared to a dance, such as those practiced in ancient noble palaces and even in taverns and squares. In fact, when a bit of good food join a sip of suitable wine you really will feel your taste dance: first they will move the freshest flowers and fruits flavors, then will hover more complex ones like confectionery and candied fruit hints until the final mineral, woods and spices notes. Yet, all this probably will experience when you’ll sit at the table … then, it is up to you to close the dances with the final bow!