Jan 252012
 
Montepulciano

Photo by: Paul Wagner

It’s gotta be one of the best names in wine:  Vino Nobile di Montepulciano—the noble wine of Montepulciano.  And when you visit the town of Montepulciano, you understand even better.

It’s small, maybe about 5,000 people on a good day. And the central piazza looks an awful lot like the grand city of Florence—not surprising, since the Medici family played a big role here as well.  In fact, when you look at the town hall of Montepulciano, you can’t help but think of the town hall of Florence.  Only the one in Montepulciano has also been featured in some of those famous vampire movies…if you like that sort of thing.

One difference?  The cathedral in Florence got finished, so it’s a multi-colored marble fantasy.  In Montepulciano, they’re still waiting to add the marble veneers.

But other than the unfinished cathedral, the town is a spectacular place to visit—wonderful Renaissance architecture and those famous sun-kissed hills of Tuscany.

Tim Gaiser MS

Photo by: Paul Wagner

Only we were there in December, and there was damn little sun.  The sky was grey, the piazza was grey, and everything looked just right for, well, a dreary vampire movie.

So we went into the offices of the Consorzio to taste through about thirty wines with a couple of real  bona fide wine experts:  Tim Gaiser, MS, and Tracy Ellen Kamens, Ed.D., DWS.    We were led deep, deep into the cellars underneath the piazza to taste through the offerings from about twenty different producers, and six or seven different vintages.  Delicious, wonderful wines; they made us completely forget about the ugly weather above us.

And when we came back upstairs and ventured out into the piazza, the world had changed.  A few last rays of the sun had illuminated the clouds above, and the whole piazza glowed with rosy splendor.

Just goes to show what a few good glasses of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano can do.

 

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