Pronounced K'yahn-tee. A regional red wine produced in the appelation of Chianti in the Tuscany region of Italy. Traditional are blends with Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Trebbiano, Malvasia varietal. Non traditional are blends with Cabernet Sauvignon, White Trebbiano, and Malvasia varietal. Chianti Classico Riserva is a high quality Chianti incorporating a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and other non traditional varietals. The reference of the word Riserva on the label represents superior quality and aging of 3+ years. In countries like the United States, inexpensive wines are generically labeled Chianti, but are not true Chianti regional red wine.
Characteristics: Chianti regional wines vary in style, primarily determined by ageing. Styles range from light to full bodied, but they are always a dry wine. Flavors of concentrated fruit, tart cherry, and violet are common.
Ageing: 3 to 10+ years.
Serving temperature: Serve at a temperature of 65º F.
Food pairings: Italian foods, red meat, parmigiano cheese, poultry, poultry with tomato sauce, goose, lamb stew, lasagna, pasta with tomato sauce, pigeon, rabbit, squab, tex-mex, heavy veal dishes, and veal chops.