When you see Castello Banfi on the wine list or in the wine shops, what thought comes to mind? For me, it is fantastic Italian wines that resemble the best Tuscany has to offer, but for many Italian wine lovers like me, Banfi is also an upscale, beautiful wine company producing some of the finest Tuscan wines. Castello Banfi is an extremely well known family owned winery in the Montalcino region of Tuscany, Italy. With two sister estates in Piedmont, this winery has truly made its mark on the wine world. The company hand harvests their grapes and sorts the berries individually at the wineries; this practice is how they select the best grapes and make such incredible wines.

The wine I had was the Castello Banfi BelnerO Toscana IGT 2010 paired with fillet mignon, sautéed garlic butter mushrooms, roasted herb potatoes, and Italian vegetable au gratin.

According to the wine maker’s notes, “BelnerO is driven by the Sangiovese grape, the emblematic varietal of Montalcino tradition that was studied and perfected through Banfi’s decades of research, and complemented with small percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot which find on our estate in southern Tuscany their most favorable habitat”(www.castellobanfi.com).

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This wine would pair beautifully with grilled meats, and aged cheeses. The BelernO is intensely colored with red hues and aromas of vanilla, black cherries, and coffee, with subtle hints of tobacco. This wine is beautiful, fruit forward, and well balanced with soft tannins. The wine was more enjoyable with every sip and paired beautifully with the meal. I did not want to overpower the wine with the food, or the food with the wine, so I chose a simple dish that was delicious and yet something anyone could cook up for an enjoyable evening at home. This wine is approachable, seductive, and very easy to drink, making it perfect for a weeknight dinner or weekend outing to a BYOB restaurant.

If you haven’t tried a Castello Banfi wine, you’re certainly in for a treat when you do. Make sure to look on their site for food pairings and tasting notes if you are not familiar with Italian wines. You can also follow me as I explore many more of these fantastic Castello Banfi wines in the upcoming posts!