Wines that Rock: Chianti and Chianti Classico - Hearty wines from the heart of Italy's wine heart

Ah the Old World! The original wine masters. Their craft perfected over centuries. Knowledge, customs, and rules passed down from generation to generation. We never have been able to give the Old World much love here at Vynl (we are based in the US, so we had plenty local plonk to get us started) but we decided to dive right in and take on Chianti with full force.

Almost immediately we ran into a massive obstacle. What the hell is the difference between Chianti and Chianti Classico if they are all made predominantly from the Sangiovese grape? This is the fascinating, and sometimes frustrating thing about the Old World. The names are derived from the region they are grown in, and the region has its own rules and regulations that a winery has to follow in order for the wine to be classified accordingly. Chianti and Chianti Classico may be from the same general area in the heart of Tuscany, but they are considered to be different regions with different rules.

So lets start with Chianti

Wines from the broader Chianti region, and wines blended from different sub-regions from within the Chianti zone can be classified under the Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) and may present Chianti on the label. Chianti has to be at least 70% Sangiovese and may be as much as 100% while other grapes allowed in the blend may be Canailo, Colorino (5-10%) Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon (15%) and the white grapes Trebbiano and Malvasia(5-10%). Got that? Good! Now lets move on to what makes this wine so awesome!

Chianti is a friends wine. Something that you can drink all day, every day, whenever you want and never feel guilty about it. Its just a hell of a lot of fun, and has a habit of bringing people together. It is really easy to enjoy, very


And then there's Chianti Classico

Chianti Classico is the traditional area where Chianti originated, but was granted its own DOC status as late as 1996. For Chianti Classico the rules are a bit different, with as little as 70% Sangiovese required and as much as 15% of any of the other wines, except for the white grapes. Its enough to make a difference, and though the difference is subtle you will definitely notice it.

There is just something about drinking a wine labelled "Classico." It feels a lot more refined, more elegant. You just feel classy. Chianti Classico is a treat, perfect for delectable Italian dinners with lots of pasta, red sauces, and a dark haired lover sitting across the table. This is Dolce and Gabanna in a bottle, suave, elegant, finely cut, and yet so sexy that you just cannot help but want to dear that dress or suit right off. 

What more could you ask for from these luscious Italian wines? Sangiovese is a fantastic grape, but the Chianti, and Chianti Classico regions take this big, rugged wine to a beautiful classy place. These are wines that will have you talking with your hands, proclaiming just how good they are so drink up and have a second glass already because life is too short.


Damian Priday