When perusing a typical Tuscan menu, to top off your meal you will find a wide array of sweets but if you’ve never entered the exciting realm of dessert wine, you’re in for a total treat.
Vin Santo DOC Dessert Wine
What’s so holy about this wine that enchants and entices with its bold viscous consistency and hints of caramel and hazelnut? History has it that Vin Santo made its way into our everyday lives centuries ago, when it was introduced during mass because of its sweet and tangy flavor, preferred by many to wine’s more dense and heady consistency – from this its divine name. At Dievole, the Vin Santo harvest begins at the end of September. The grapes are dried for 48 months on reed mats placed in a well-ventilated, arid place (the desiccation of the grapes actually enhances the fruit’s sugar content). Our Chianti Classico Vin Santo is amber-coloured and the gustatory gamut spans from the buttery bold flavour of walnuts to dried fruit and honey that pair wonderfully with crunchy biscotti like cantucci. A small amount in a lowball glass will suffice, sip slowly and try to identify all its subtle saccharine nuances.
Moscadello di Montalcino DOC
Produced in three types (Still, Sparkling and Late Harvest), the Moscadello di Montalcino DOC’s color varies from a rustic straw-yellow hue to deep golden tones. Its odor is fresh and persistent with floral hints and velvety elegance. The great Italian poet Ugo Foscolo would avidly nurse on this fruity dessert wine during his Florentine stays, sharing it with friends and contemporary intellectuals. Starred chefs use it to make sweet sauces and it brings out the best in foie gras and pecorino cheeses.
Moscato dell’Isola D’Elba DOC
Hailing from the sun-soaked island of Elba and produced with 100% Muscat grapes (one of the most ancient cultivated varieties in the world), this wonderful dessert wine is incredibly easy to drink. Harvest begins at the end of August and after ten days of warm air withering it the grapes are pressed. Famous for its hints of peach, orange blossom and nectarine and unique aroma, its sweet crisp taste and low-alcohol content go hand in hand with seasoned and slightly spicy cheeses.
Occhio di Pernice DOC
Not only does Dievole produce “holy wine” – the company has taken its mission even more seriously, creating Occhio di Pernice, an 80% Sangiovese meditation wine fit for relaxing evenings and cool, slow savouring that makes it so much more than a simple dessert wine. The production of Occhio di Pernice requires rare skill and patience, for it must be aged in small 50 litre chestnut barrels for 60 months That’s why only very few wineries produce it in this territory. This is also why it’s recognised around the world as a unique and prestigious beverage, and it is a DOC product.
Elba Aleatico Passito DOCG
Made with Aleatico grapes and typically aged for at least 6 months prior to release, this ruby-red dessert wine also hails from the coasts of the Elba. In ancient times this Tuscan island was described by the great philosopher Pliny the Elder as ‘insula vini ferax– the island that produces a lot of wine’. Awarded the DOCG denomination in 2010, Passito is an age-worthy wine and its distinct mulberry bouquet combines perfectly with chocolate, peaches and Elba’s famous “Schiacciata Briaca” (Drunken Schiacciata), a sweet flat bread topped with pine nuts, raisins and dried fruit.