Chianti, the best-known and most popular of the Italian wines, is produced in Tuscany, a region in Central Italy about 100

miles to the north of Rome. Both red and white wines are produced, although only the red is, by law, now permitted to

call itself Chianti. (The white is officially designated Toscano Bianco.)

Chianti is robust and, like BEAUJOLAIS, should be drunk young. It is usually bottled in the well known straw flasks that seem to be popular for using as lamp bases afterwards.

A great deal of Chianti is produced each year and the quality of the wine can therefore vary quite widely. The best of it is called Chianti Classico and is produced in a legally defined area between the mediaeval cities of Florence and Siena.

It is beautifully balanced and mellow to taste and, unlike most Chianti, ages well. Chianti Classico can be identified by

its special black cockerel trade-mark.

Chianti complements any of the slightly heavier, meaty pasta dishes and can be particularly recommended for lasagne and spaghetti alia carbonara.

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