Does wine taste better when surrounded by great art? It very well may be. One thing is for sure: the 3rd annual Wine&Siena, an event organized and promoted by the Wine Hunter and the organizers of Merano Wine Festival, showcased both in a stunningly beautiful way.
It’s hard to ignore Simone Martini’s exquisite fresco of Guidoriccio da Fogliano, even if you are sipping a magnificent Franciacorta.
Held on the weekend of January 27-28, tastings took place in several gorgeous locations. Palazzo Salimbeni for one, the headquarters of the Monte dei Paschi, Siena’s famous bank, in operation since 1472.
This was the kingdom of Tuscan wines: from Brunello to Chianti Classico to Vino Nobile di Montepulciano to Vernaccia di San Gimignano. And boy, I said a mouthful, because those are four of the heaviest hitting Italian DOCG wines and they all come from the province of Siena. But also Bolgheri, Carmignano (one of my all-time favorites!), Chianti, Val d’Orcia and more.
Moving between tasting locations, one could admire the city’s elegance and architecture, and a walk in the fresh air is exhilarating, clears your head, and prepares you for the next stop on your flavorful path.
At Palazzo Pubblico, the Siena town hall, one could sample Italian bubbly from Oltrepò Pavese to Franciacorta to Trento and beyond, while admiring the frescoes by some of Italy’s most revolutionary artists, Ambrogio Lorenzetti and Simone Martini among them. Yours truly, sipping a Franciacorta Lo Sparviere on the left, and an Oltrepò Pavese Ca’ di Frara on the right. Valentine’s Day is coming up… stock up on the bubbles!
Romina Marovelli with her extraordinary cheese, Il Bagiolo (The Kiss)
Siena’s elegant 5-star Hotel Continental this year hosted food stands (such great Tuscan cold cuts and cheeses), microbrewery artisanal beer makers, and yes, more wine! In addition to the growing interest in beer, Italy has been displaying a keen taste for local gin as well. Must say, the variety of combos of spices and berries going into these gins does make for some interesting tasting.
Brainchild of Helmut Köcher, the Wine Hunter, this event brought together the city of Siena, University of Siena, Chamber of Commerce, Monte dei Paschi, AIS and FISAR, hotels, restaurants and wine-lovers and foodies from far and wide. This kind of synergy reminds us of the city’s strategic importance in the world of wine.
As the Wine Hunter says, Excellence is an attitude, but it is also the flavors, aromas and organization of Wine&Siena, an event that deserves an even bigger audience in 2019!
More to come on Wine&Siena, so stay tuned!