Have you ever been to Italy over the holiday season? I had the pleasure of spending October -December in Italy on various trips, and let me tell you, there is nothing like Italy in November and December! Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is one of my bucket list places to visit, and there are few better places in the world than Montepulciano to spend the holiday season, don’t you think? It’s a bit late now, however think about spending next season set 2,000 feet above sea level, overlooking the Tuscan countryside!
The holiday season is often a very popular time for exceptional red wines to be purchased and gifted, but this year, everything’s coming up Italian! There are so many top notch Italian wines it’s almost overwhelming, however to make things a bit easier for you on the blog now, I have been (and many of you have written in with positive notice) doing more focused articles for you to get to know wines, regions, and a bit more about wines I am drinking every day of the week. This year, bring a touch of Tuscany to your holiday tables, and give the gift of one of the country’s finest and yet less known gems: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano!
Tuscany is known for its Sangiovese-based wines, and many Tuscan wines are a great wine of choice to pair with all the holiday fare. Not many know, however that only Vino Nobile di Montepulciano comes from the vineyards that cover the rolling hills around the hilltop town of Montepulciano! These wines are made predominantly with Sangiovese, and these wines are almost always confused with the Montepulciano, a namesake grape variety grown worldwide, and one that has no connection with Tuscany. It’s very Italian, don’t worry. I still find that even though I went through my Sommelier training, that I learn something new about wine every single day, especially when it comes to Italian wines!
Italian wines are a journey of their own, and every single area they grow grapes is vastly different from climate to soils, to exposure, and so much more. You will never stop exploring when it comes to the Wines of Italy. Southeastern Tuscany boasts sunny warm days, cooler nights, and clay soils mixed layers of limestone and sand. I think the limestone soils really create that earthiness along with the sandy soils, and wines from here have that unmistakable herbal elegance that is so Sangiovese.
While Vino Nobile di Montepulciano has been known as Italy’s noblest wine for centuries, this iconic Tuscan fine wine has gone a bit unnoticed in the recent year, probably because it’s not as well known, and or doesn’t roll off the tongue like it’s surrounding regions such as Chianti and Brunello. The best thing is, we’re getting Vino Nobile di Montepulciano at really great prices, so more wine for the celebrations! These wines are palate friendly, food friendly, and Christmas Feast pairing worthy. Gifting Nobile over the holidays is great for your wine connoisseurs, as it will make any wine lover feel like they’re getting gifted something that Italian Royalty used to only request.
Montepulciano is one of the most sought-after travel destinations year-round, but it transforms in the wintertime. Beginning in November, the central popular areas like the Piazza Grande is decorated to the most, with lights and a Christmas tree The historic stone streets lead to a holiday market with local gifts, foods, and beverages. You will feel the magic of the holidays if you travel here for them, I am telling you, there is nothing like it.
However, since we are not traveling there this month, how about you infuse a bit of Tuscany into your holiday parties and gatherings this holiday season. I am a last minute shopper, and always have been, so I am currently now thinking about my holiday wine picks (which will include wines from this region), as well as my food menu, and gifts to gift the in-laws. I am going to bring a bit of Tuscany to the table this holiday season with simple appetizers and Italian fare on Christmas Eve to pair perfectly with these wines. If you do a Christmas Ham, Lamb, or Prime Rib, have no fear, these wines will absolutely pair beautifully with meat, pasta, green vegetables and so much more. They’re extremely food friendly and budget friendly, so you can make memories at this years feast!
What makes these wines so food friendly? Montepulciano is known for its bright acidity that allows this great wine to work with traditional holidays meals from around the world. The fruit adds layers while the savory and herbal notes go great with even the leanest meats like turkey, fish, and even vegetarian dishes! I like these wines because they’re complex enough for a big meal, but also can compliment appetizers and transition into dinner as well. On Christmas, my in-laws all bring something delicious, and this year it’s going to be Beef Filet, Duck, and Pernil in which a few bottles of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano will be perfect for pairing.
This wine is attractive and open to all! If you’re still looking for a great wine to pair with your holidays, look for some Vino Nobile di Montepulciano in your local wine store or online, you can and will find so many great options!
Always remember, eat what you like and drink what you love. Please pair responsibly and Merry Christmas!