Best of the bunch - Baroncini 1489 Chianti Riserva 2009 (Tuscany, Italy)

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Remember how embarassing it was when your Mum used to make you wear something that you knew just looked ridiculous? I imagine that's how Chianti used to feel when it was made to parade around in those ridiculous wicker covered bottles. It can't have been any fun just waiting to become a glorified candle holder. Thankfully Chianti survived this brush with the wicker and remains an ever present part of the Italian red wine scene.

This is an entry level wine at around £7.50 depending on the retailer and you do get a fair bit for your money. The tannins are quite soft for a Tuscan red meaning you don't absolutely have to drink this with food although, like most Italian reds, it is in its element on the dinner table alongside a suitable dish. I've always liked venison with Chianti and other Sangiovese based wines if that helps at all....

The crunchy red fruits are the high point of this wine. Paired with the good level of acidity they make this wine positively mouth watering. This is available on eVines as part of the Roasting Reds case alongside some other rather splendid wines.
If you do get a taste for Chianti then the Da Vinci Chianti Classico 2008 is also well worth a try. Sometimes Old World classics like Chianti get a little overlooked in favour of the trendy looking and sounding New World efforts. I think it's nice however to sometimes be a little old fashioned.

So why not try some of this? You could even wrap some wicker around it if that helps....