We had a great time in Panzano yesterday at Vino al Vino, the annual wine event in Piazza Bucciarelli. The quality of the producers in Panzano is amazing - and this event is really about enjoying some spectacular wines.
We started with lunch at
Mac Dario Dario DOC (yes - McDonald's made him give up this name!), Dario Cecchini's latest restaurant incarnation. Mac Dario is was a play on "McDonalds" and for lunch there are two set menus - for €10 you get a half pound burger, roast potatoes, pickled onions, bread, water, and sauces. Maybe the best deal meal in all of Tuscany (still the same price in 2014!).
Between the three of us with glasses (€12) we tasted just about everything, including Candialle, Castello Dei Rampola, Fontodi, La Masssa, Panzanello, Villa Cafaggio, and one of our favorites, Cosimo Gericke's Rignana. They were pouring the 2007 Chianti Classico, which I had not previously tasted. It was excellent of course - Rignana's expression of Chianti is classic and very real - earthy, but always with excellent concentrated and dense dark red fruits, spice, and a strong tannic structure. I don't think there is a better wine to pair with a wide range of Tuscan food - especially roast pork, Crostini Toscano, or local cheeses.
I also had fun talking with Renzo Marinai who was working his own booth. He told me that he likes to play music in his cantina - Mozart and Beethoven, etc. because it is good for the wine - that the wine is alive and it needs to live. And he had a very interesting white wine - a blend of malvasia, trebbiano, and chardonnay that goes straight from stainless to bottle. It was probably the surprise of the day for us. I'll leave a review when we drink one of the bottles we bought.