Sangiovese vs. Chianti: two red wines, two regions, and thousands of years of history between them. If you’re new to both of these wines, then there are a few things that will help you make the most out of your experience.
If you are confused between Sangiovese and Chianti wines and question yourself, are they different? Is there any difference between them? Come, let us find it out!
Sangiovese is an Italian wine loved worldwide and is one of the most planted red grape varieties. Sangiovese grape variety is also the core ingredient in some Italian wines like Brunello di, Montalcino, and of course, Chianti. On the other hand, Chianti is also a red wine from Tuscany, Italy, and is primarily made from Sangiovese grapes.
More about Sangiovese and Chianti
1. Grapes and Origin
- Both of the wines have their origins in the Tuscany region of Italy.
- Sangiovese wine is found in almost all red wines from the Tuscany region, Umbria and Marches.
- Most of the time, it is produced as monovarietal. It is also used in different percentages, together with the other local grapes found in every region and international grapes.
- Now, Chianti is a small region of Tuscany. Wine named on this region is a product of such blend in which Sangiovese grapes is used in some percentages with the other local grapes to produce it.
- Sangioveses is the soul of Chianti.
- This Italian red grape with thin skin is a medium- to a late-ripening variety that can produce outstanding wines when grown with the right conditions. Wines made with Sangiovese are generally high in alcohol and acidity, with an excellent tannic texture, and have aromas of plum, cherry, and blackberry.
2. Taste and Flavors
- Sangiovese wine is a dry-style wine with a light to medium body, mouth-watering acidity, and tight tannins.
- It displays many red fruit characteristics, with black tea, chocolate, and tobacco notes.
- Flavors may have secondary notes of tomato leaf, spice, cherry, and herbs.
- You may also find rich flavors of plum and raspberry too.
- Chianti is also an acidic wine with black cherry, violet, and herbs.
- It is a medium-bodied wine, and its high tannic structure gives it a dry taste.
- The nose tends to be floral and fruity, while more mature ones develop earthier aromas.
- The typical tasting notes are red fruits, dried herbs, balsamic vinegar, and smoke.
- The expensive ones offer notes of sour cherries, dried oregano, balsamic reduction, espresso, and sweet tobacco.
Types Of Chianti
When looking for Chianti on store shelves or a website, you will find several different classifications available. There are numerous types of Chianti, each with its characteristics.
The most common types of Chianti are given below:
1. Standard Chianti:
- It is made from a blend of a minimum of 70% Sangiovese grapes and then aged for three months or more sometimes.
2. Chianti Classico:
- It is a premium Chianti that comes from the Classico region and is made with a minimum of 80% Sangiovese grapes and then aged for a minimum of 10 months.
3. Chianti Riserva:
- It is a very complex Chianti because of its aging as it is aged for more than three years which is relatively high for a standard Chianti, which also softens its tannins.
4. Chianti Superiore:
- It is a blend made with Sangiovese grapes and uses a type of grapes grown outside the Classico region and then aged for a minimum of nine months.
What is the difference between Sangiovese and Chianti?
The answer to this question be a bit confusing, so I will try to keep it short and, most importantly, simple!
- Sangiovese refers to a specific red grape variety, and on the other hand, Chianti is referred to as a type of Italian wine.
- All Chianti wines contain Sangiovese grapes in different percentages, blended with cabernet, merlot, and syrah, which provides the wine with a unique, silky texture, fine finish, and even more fruity flavors than a 100% Sangiovese wine would offer!
- Chianti is made from at least 80% Sangiovese grapes. Apart from Sangiovese grapes, Chianti wine also contains wine grapes like Canaiolo, Colorino, Cabernet Sauvignon, and sometimes Merlot too.
- You must also know that Sangiovese grapes are used to make Chianti wines and other types of wines. Other wines that contain Sangiovese grapes are wines of the same name made from 100% Sangiovese and Super Tuscans, rosé, and Vin Santo.
What Are the Best Sangiovese and Chianti Wine Food Pairings?
Sangiovese is a wine that lends itself well to savory carbohydrates, smoky meats, and firm cheeses like Parmesan with its intense flavors and texture. Enjoy a glass of Sangiovese wine with food pairings like roasted carrots, grilled hibachi meats, farro salad, and spaghetti aglio e olio.
Chianti wine’s high levels of tannins make it ideal with dishes with olive oils in them, and it also goes well with rich pieces of meat such as bistecca alla fiorentina. The tannins are also good pairs with foods rich in fats and tomato sauces.
Why do wines made from Sangiovese grapes often have different names?
Sangiovese is a grape that has been grown in Italy for centuries. The wines produced from it are often named for their origin’s villages, cities, and regions. Sometimes these names are also used to describe a particular style of wine made from Sangiovese.
The most famous wine made from Sangiovese grapes is Chianti, which is produced in Tuscany.
There are also several other wines produced in Tuscany that use Sangiovese. Some of these include Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino (made in Montalcino) and Carmignano (made near Florence).
Other examples of wines made from Sangiovese that have different names include Rosso di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Carmignano.
Sangiovese & Chianti are delicious dry, medium-bodied red wines with bright acidity and fruity characteristics. Although Chianti and Sangiovese are the same grape, they are not interchangeable wines!
Both of them have a lot of different flavors and elements to offer, so you must try out both of them at least once; I am sure you will know the difference then. So, now you see the difference, and I hope that I have managed to clear the air and make the picture clear for you!
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