Grapevine Archive for Vin Santo
I have just been finishing up the Christmas Stilton with a glass of Fontodi’s luxurious Vin Santo.It’s an exquisite combination, first suggested to me by the inimitable Minuccio Cappello. Minnucio supplied The Society’s Chianti Classico from his Montaglio estate in Panzano where he also ran what must have been one of the simplest and best trattorias in Italy. All the produce was local and prepared in the Tuscan tradition by Anna. You could walk through the kitchen looking into all the pots before you made your choice. Sadly, when Minuccio had to sell the estate and trattoria, standards slipped, and badly.
Minuccio considers Stilton to be much better than any Italian blue cheese to accompany his concentrated Vin Santo, aged 7-10 years plus in small sealed barrels. Though Vin Santo is traditionally offered at family celebrations and to special guests at festivals, ‘santo’ is unlikely to be derived from the word for ‘holy’. Wine during the Turkish occupation of Greece, and earlier, sweet white wine used in Russian orthodox and Greek churches, came from the island of Santinori, and this is thought to have given the wine its name.
Sebastian Payne MW