Im not a huge fan of red wine, but I decided to go on a tour of the Chianti wine region of Tuscany anyway because I love throwing away money. I assumed that the red wine that i have drunk before has basically been piss compared to what I might taste in Chianti, so its worth the gamble. By the end of the day it turns out I was pretty much right.

Tour started from the hostel which was great, short walk from there to the bus which was waiting for us, and then about a 45minute drive to the first stop of the day. Rolled up to what seemed to be quite a small place and sat down at tables. On the tables was some bread and various different olive oils. The other people on my table obviously hadn’t been to Italy before because they didn’t know what to do, not realising that the oil was to be put on the bread. I finally learnt why their bread is so tasteless on its own as well, its because its baked with no salt and is deliberately supposed to be bland. Its made this way so when you put olive oil, cheese, meat etc you are getting the flavours of the topping and thats it. It works too because the various different olive oils are amazing.

Next bit of food to come out was goats cheese and a few different flavours of spreads or ‘consumes’ as they call them, kind of like jams…but not. Apparently its quite a common thing to put it on the cheese and eat it, with or without some bread as well. And I aint arguing because yep it was delicious. They were selling the little jars but like everything else ive wanted to buy I cant because i cant be stuffed carrying it around for another 4 months. Then came out a platter of meats, huge slices of wicked prosciutto and salami, just picking them up covered your hands in delicious oil and fat. The first wine that we tried with our food came out on the tables and we all thought it was apple juice. For a red wine to be this colour I was rather confused. But like everything else so far it was also really nice. Still a bit too dry for my liking, but a lot more palatable than other red wine ive tried. (How pompous is the word ‘palatable’, i sound so english). Next wine we tried was a normal red wine colour this time, and was even nicer than the first. These wines are seriously alcoholic as well, hovering around the 15% mark.

Ate and drank for about an hour then it was time to get back on the bus and head to our next winery, which produces some of the best Chianti of the entire region and also the best olive oil. They only ever make extra virgin olive oil, and use cold pressing to make it as well. If you read up about olive oil you will see thats the best way. The tour of the place was run by the woman that I assume owns the place, called Maria. She showed us the whole process which was pretty cool, she said its not like you can copy it so it doesn’t matter. I learnt a bit about olive oil as well, the differences between extra virgin, virgin and plain olive oil. And also that the olives that are used to make olive oil are completely different trees to the ones used for eating (it now seems obvious). When doing the tasting of three different Chiantis that are produced there Maria also explained all the ridiculous things that wine tasters do and why they do it. Such as why they swill the wine around in the glass then look at it for ages and then smell it. Was all quite interesting.

On the way back to Florence we stopped in on a tiny tiny little place that I cant even remember the name of now, but it was the place that they filmed Gladiator in. Im not really sure why we stopped there, it took me all of about 3 minutes to walk around the entire place and we stopped there for 40 minutes. After that everyone got back on the bus and went straight back to Florence, nodding in and out of sleep the whole way back. Like most nights I went to the kitchen downstairs in the hostel and ordered bruschetta and spaghetti arrabiatta. Party for one oh yeahhhhh.