Vin Santo

Ciao! Found myself chatting with a woman struggling to remember a certain wine she had enjoyed while on a recent trip to Tuscany. After fielding some probing questions, I was able to ascertain that she was referring to Vin Santo, a traditional Italian dessert wine. In case you’re interested…

Vin Santo is a made from white grape varieties such as Trebbiano and Malvasia; Sangiovese may be used to produce a rosé style. Most producers dry (raisinate) fresh-harvested grapes on straw mats in a warm, well ventilated area: some vintners prefer to dry the grapes by hanging them on racks. Although technically a dessert wine, Vin Santo can vary in sweetness from bone dry to extremely sweet.

If you’d like a taste, may I suggest a Felsina 2001 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico. In the words of Robert Parker (you’ve GOT to love this guy), “…the stunning bouquet alone is worth the price of admisssion. Dried figs, plums, prune, cinnamon, licorice and dried flowers are woven together in a fabric of unmistakable class. Slightly oxidative notes add complexity and inner sweetness, but this remains a restrained, mid-weight style of Vin Santo that reaches an extraordinary level of finesse.” Expect to pay around $45 for this Tuscan treasure. Salute, e buon appetito!