Wine of the month: Chianti

Posted on: 13 July 2011 by Rhian Mainwaring

Chianti comes out on top at the Bristol Foodies Festival

It was a first for Love That Wine, when we were allowed to go out and about in the last weekend of June, talking to lots of enthusiastic wine consumers and tasting plenty of wine in the process. In typical British style the weather at the Bristol Foodies Festival ranged from torrential rain on Friday to glorious sunny weather on Sunday. Incidentally, it proved a brilliant opportunity to see how the weather impacts on the popularity of the wines!

 Over a period of three days at the Bristol Foodies Festival we were showing a selection of wines from Radcliffe’s, whose wine buyers scour the length and breadth of Spain, Italy and France for great wines from well-known wine regions. Visitors to the Festival could join us for a quick taster of one or two wines or a mini-masterclass, where we talked tasters through the ins and outs of each wine and encouraged them to write their own reviews of their favourites.

 On each of the three days at the festival we also hosted a masterclass in the Drinks Theatre, showing people how easy it is to write a review on a wine. Love That Wine is all about you, the wine consumer, and we had a great time chatting over a glass of wine to find out what we like and dislike. I was also amazed at how much fun our visitors were having coming up with quirky tasting notes that really captured the mood. I thought the best adjective I heard at the festival was someone calling a wine ‘pillowy’. I suppose that would mean the wine feels like putting your head on a soft, downy pillow. And relax!

 Now onto my wine of the month. Personally, I love a nice Chianti but to my surprise many of the visitors to our stand had a pretty dismal perception of this famous Tuscan wine. Cheap and nasty were mentioned more than once when asked what people thought of Chianti in general.

The raffia-covered bottle from way back when, often including the candle, is still the overriding image many people hold of Chianti. It was so good to see these preconceptions being blown away by the Radcliff's Chianti.

 My unofficial poll may well have to put it at the top of the league when it comes to most popular wine of the weekend. It was almost universally liked. Perhaps it was the vibrant, juicy red fruit character that went so well with the summer temperatures, or the very uplifting Levi Roots Reggae music from the stand opposite us that put everyone in a good mood. I can tell you, three days of that and you’ll be humming the tunes for another week.

Radcliffe chianti


Chianti 2008


£71.88 per case of 12 (£5.99 per bottle)

Made from the Tuscan grape variety Sangiovese the Radcliff's Chianti is such a lovely, juicy wine. Bright cherry fruit, medium body and plenty of interest, with a little sweet-spicy vanilla too. The wine has a pretty impressive finish as well with lots of freshness making for perfect summer drinking. Not too light, not too heavy, all in perfect harmony.

 And at this price you should buy it by the case. It’s very versatile as well. Have it with Spaghetti Bolognese, Italian antipasti, or, weather permitting, a barbecue. It’s up to you, either way, enjoy!

Pieter Rosenthal for

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