I'm just here for the wine...
Tuscany is world famous. It is like a movie set and I think you simply cannot be disappointed by this unique region.
It offers breathtaking scenery, a warm Mediterranean flair, good food and excellent wine. The wine. The reason why I am here.
We traveled by camper from Florence, through Chianti to Siena and Montalcino. Montepulciano, near Umbria, was the crowning glory of our little culinary tour.
Classics of Italian cuisine:
The Italians understand me. They probably don't understand my German, but they understand my passion for good food, because that's what Italian cuisine is all about. Eating has nothing to do with mere food intake, it is a pleasure. Mediterranean cuisine is not only universally popular, it is also considered particularly healthy. High-quality olive oil, regional vegetables, fresh herbs and animal protein, which comes primarily from fish as well as seafood from the nearby coastal regions. How much Mediterranean health flair still resonates in today's cuisine is questionable, yet the building blocks of that cuisine are considered extremely beneficial to health.
Here is a small selection of Italian delicacies:
Appetizer: Antipasti (cold or hot appetizers e.g.: marinated vegetables, carpaccio, caprese, olives, bruschetta, ...) or Minestrone (vegetable soup) Main dish: Pasta, Risotto, Saltimbocca, Pesce Spada, Pollo alla cacciatora (Poultry recipe), Ciambotta (Vegetable casserole) Dessert: Tiramisu, Zabaglione (Wine mousse), Panna Cotta, Cantuccini Drinks: Sambuco, Grappa, Espresso, Campari
A visit to a wine grower is also part of a real Tuscany trip.
Uhhh: speaking of wine! And speaking of a healthy lifestyle: low to moderate wine consumption can have positive effects on the heart and circulation. In a moment, another reason to dive deeper into the wine matter.
Tuscany's geography is perfect for good (red) wine. The most common grape variety is Sangiovese and our wine tastings were dominated by the red kings of Tuscan reds like Chianti Classico or Brunello di Montalcino.
What goes into a good wine tasting? Food. As a solid foundation and as a treat. At one winemaker's we got a different piece of Pecorino with each glass of wine. Pecorino super soft and only 20 days young. Pecorino a little harder and already several weeks old. All the way to Pecorino that was aged up to four months.
Although I would never have outed myself as a big cheese fan, I have been a big Pecorino fan ever since. The wine became rather a minor matter.
Michaelas-Must-Try: What is more typical than pasta in Italy? Here is my favorite recipe with homemade pesto.
Mediterranean cuisine is not only universally popular, it is also considered particularly healthy.
Michaelas Video-Message: In my TikTok video you can see a little summary about our round trip through Tuscany.
Meal times: Breakfast (from 7:00): The first breakfast is usually standing up with a coffee, and a sweet piece of pastry. Lunch (12:30 - 14:30): Consisting of a light appetizer, main course and dessert. Aperitif (18:00 - 21:00): A separate snack in which Martini, Campari or Spritz is drunk. A few antipasti snacks are served with it. Dinner (from 19:00): In the south of Italy also quite later.
Price-performance ratio: Visits to restaurants in Italy are usually quite expensive. What many people don't know is that you also have to pay for the table service. For comparison: Cappuccino in Linz ca. 3 Eur. Cappuccino in Amsterdam ca. 4 Eur. Cappuccino in der Toskana ca. 4 Eur.
Striking on the spot:
While in Germany and Austria many wine growers boast an organic label, we have not noticed any corresponding organic certificates on the wine bottles in Tuscany. According to our wine guide, almost all growing areas in Tuscany are organic and organic wine is therefore something self-evident.
Restaurants, Weinbauern & Hotels
Our first stop was in Florence at the Hotel Palazzo Guadagni. We were traveling by camper, but we didn't miss Italian wine and antipasti on the sensational roof terrace of the ancient hotel in the middle of the city.
The Antinori family has been dedicated to wine for 26 generations and is one of the largest wine producers in all of Italy.
Insider tip: You can't get into the Antinori area without a reservation. Since the wine tours were already fully booked in advance, we made a reservation at the Rinuccio 1180 restaurant and enjoyed a fabulous view of the vines.
A hotel. A winegrower. A golf course. A complete destination and to all those willing to get married: the perfect weding spot in Tuscany! The Castiglion del Bosco is an absolute luxury class but worth every penny. We did not stay at the hotel but had a 2-hour wine tour that I will never forget in my life. (And that despite the wine!)
The Capricci di Merion is fabulously idyllic and is already in Umbria. We followed the waiter's recommendation and let ourselves be guided by a blind dinner. An absolute spectacle this restaurant visit. Insider tip: Plan enough time for a private photo shoot in the garden of the hotel.
My conclusion: I came for the wine. I enjoyed the Pecorino and as I reminisce I will remember the bumpy roads, the finite vines and the first class guide on our wine tour.