DRINK DIFFERENT - CHIANTI’S NEAR NEIGHBOUR
As Brits started to discover Tuscany in the 1960s and 1970s, it is unsurprising that the region’s principle wine, Chianti, was one of the first to become popular in this country. No self-respecting Italian restaurant of the era was without its string of wicker-bound chianti flasks hanging from the ceiling.
Chianti is the homeland of the Sangiovese grape, but it far from being the only region in Italy which makes wine from this variety, which gives strawberry and spices, as well as more developed flavours when aged in oak.
Next door to Tuscany is the region of Emilia-Romagna, whose capital Bologna is the epicentre of Italian food. Here you will find an excellent alternative to Chianti, Sangiovese di Romagna, which unlike Chianti (which is generally a blend) is only made from Sangiovese. Arguably a truer expression of the grape, it also has the advantage of being much better value.