Tastes of Tuscany
Tuscany is a region rich in natural and artistic and treasures, where colours and perfumes get intertwined with emotions, but for many, it is first and foremost the place of “good food”. Here, the taste of food and the genuine and savoury cuisine have old origins and come from the fertility of its territory, which has favoured a rather flourishing agriculture. The proliferation of typical local products, capable of opposing themselves to the worst consequences of globalization in the alimentary field, is the result of a culture of gastronomic traditions which require to put on the table good wine, products from one’s own land and seafood. There are numerous and very popular “country fairs” (“sagre paesane”) that take place along the coast and in the countryside every day during the summer season and where it is possible to get a taste of the specialties of the local cuisine.
Tuscany is also defined as the “land of the sweet hills” ("la terra delle dolci colline"), hills where there are many vineyards producing white and red wines of unique taste. Some examples are: the Chianti, the Candia, the Morellino di Scansano, the Rosso di Montepulciano, the Vernaccia di San Gimignano, the Brunello di Montalcino and many others still. Given its very old oenological traditions, Tuscany deserves a special attention in the wine scenery. Real "Wine Itineraries" ("Strade del Vino") have been created in order to allow to get a taste of the old flavours and the best wines, to visit typical places, such as vineyards, hamlets, century-old villas of unrivalled beauty and villages, each one with their own traditions.
However, it seems that combining the right wine to the right food isn’t enough; even the choice of the water has its importance. In the typical restaurants, it is becoming more and more a habit to present the water (acque) list next to the wine list. Yes, mineral waters have different tastes, which depend on the minerals they each contain. There are neutral, light or strong waters. Neutral water is the water that our palate doesn’t manage to distinguish, whereas for the light water, one needs to be a expert to recognise its nuances. The strong water can be fizzy, effervescent, oligomineral, or naturally effervescent. But let the water sommeliers be the ones to describe us their different characteristics.