Castello Banfi Il Borgo – Wine Tasting

RO: Din toate drumetiile noastre prin Italia, am invatat cateva lucruri mari si late, pe care le avem mereu in vedere atunci cand alegem sa ne intoarcem aici. Daca vrem mancare exceptional de buna, mergem in La Grasa de Bologna, in Emilia Romagna. Mancarea lor plus un Lambrusco, Raiul pe pamant. Daca vrem La Mafia, urcat pe Etna si mancare stradala de te lingi pe degete, mergem in Sicilia. Apropo, Palermo a fost desemnat capitala europeana a mancarii stradale 🙂 Daca vrem satuce colorate pe malul marii, mergem in Amalfi, in Campania, ori in 5terre in Liguria. Ei si daca vrem vinuri de exceptie, rosii indeosebi, alegem Toscana. Ca doar nu degeaba e renumita in toata lumea pentru Chianti, Brunello ori Vino Noble. Si-acum sa detaliem care-i treaba cu Via dei Sapori in Toscana si sa spunem cateva vorbe despre vinurile si mancarurile incercate la Castelul Banfi, din regiunea toscana Siena. La o aruncatura de bat de satucul Montalcino.

EN: From all our trips to Italy, we’ve learned some basic things which we always take into consideration when choosing to come back here. If we want exceptional food, we go to La Grasa Bologna, in Emilia Romagna province. Their food, plus a glass of Lambrusco, Heaven on Earth. If we want La Mafia, climbing on Etna and delicious street food, we go to Sicily. By the way, Palermo has been nominated as the European capital of street food 🙂 If we want colorful villages on the sea, we go to either Amalfi Coast, in Campania, or in 5terre, in Liguria. But if we want exceptional wines, especially red ones, we go to Tuscany. As this region is famous in the whole wide world for its Chianti, Brunello or Vino Noble. And now let’s detail a little bit and see what ‘s all the fuss about this Via dei Sapori in Tuscany, and what are the foods and wines that we’ve tried at Banfi, the castle hidden in the heart of Siena region. Just at a stone’s throw from Montalcino village.
Castello Banfi Il Borgo 28
RO: Si incepem cu o degustare de vinuri la Banfi, asa in loc de clasicul aperitivo de la 7. Si chiar daca in general in Toscana se folosesc cam aceiasi struguri (in principal Sangiovese), fiecare regiune toscana vine cu vinul ei, intotdeauna diferit ca gust si ca metoda de producere. Si bineinteles, orice degustare vine si cu platouri de snack-uri italiene, in principal branzeturi si diverse mezeluri. Si cum la Banfi esti la doi pasi de Pienza, patria pecorino-ului, nu o sa lipseasca din platou cateva felii generoase de branza pecorino, de diverse tipuri. Si-un pic de parmigiano de la Parma, ca sa te convingi cat de bine merge cu asprimea vinului rosu sec 🙂 Si n-ai sa vezi tu platou italian fara felii de prosciutto, salamiuri de tot soiul ori un pic de mortadella.

EN: And we start with a wine tasting at Banfi, instead of the classical 7 o’clock aperitivo. And even if in general Tuscan winemakers use the same type of grapes (mainly Sangiovese), each Tuscan region comes with its own wine, always different as taste and production. And of course, each wine tasting comes with Italian snacks platters, mostly cheese and different types of cured meats. As Banfi is just round the corner from Pienza, the city of pecorino, you will always find some generous slices of pecorino cheese (different types of them). And just a bit of parmigiano from Parma, so that you can finally understand why the fat cheese pairs perfectly with the harshness of dry red wine. And of course, you’ll never see an Italian platter without some slices of prosciutto, different types of salami and a bit of mortadella.
Wine Tasting Castello Banfi 5
RO: Si uite asa incepe “lectia de vin”. Incepi usor, c-un Rosso de Montalcino, un fel de frate mai mic al faimosului Brunello, mai “tanar” (perioada de maturare este de doar un an), mai usurel, mai fructat si evident, mai ieftin. Si-apoi intri in “liga campionilor”, cu Brunello di Montalcino, mandria Toscanei si a Castelului Banfi. Cu o perioada de maturare de patru ani, facut 100% numai din struguri Sangiovese, se intelege de ce este un vin atat de scump si apreciat. Stim cum se spune… good things come to those who wait 🙂  Si daca ai prins gustul de vin rosu, sec si aspru, poti merge la urmatorul nivel, si sa incerci un cel mai cel Poggio alle Mura, facut la Banfi din cei mai buni struguri Sangiovese. E un fel de premiant al vinurilor rosii, o nebunie curata! Si in final un Florus alb tot de la Banfi, facut din 100% struguri Moscadello, ca sa ne convingem ca intr-adevar, vinul alb nu merge bine nici cu carnurile, nici cu branzeturile grase 🙂

EN: And here is how the “wine lesson” starts. Taking it easily, with a Rosso de Montalcino, a kind of younger brother for the famous Brunello, fresher and lighter (the aging time is only one year), more fruitier and obviously, more accessible. Then you enter the “champions league” with the Brunello di Montalcino, the pride of Tuscany and Banfi Castle. With an aging time of four years, made of 100% Sangiovese grapes, it is quite understandable why is this such a highly appreciated wine. We all know that good things happen to those who wait 🙂 And if you’ve started to like the red wine, dry and harsh, you can go to the next level, and try the Poggio alle Mura, made at Banfi from the best Sangiovese grapes. It’s a kind of the top of the form of the red wines, total madness! And at the end a white Florus from Banfi, made from 100% Moscadello grapes, just to make sure that white wine does not pair well with meats or fat cheese 🙂
Castello Banfi Il Borgo 30
Wine Tasting Castello Banfi 6
Wine Tasting Castello Banfi 7
RO: Si stai asa, ca asta nu e tot! Doar nu credeai ca scapi asa, cu una cu doua, cu numai patru vinuri degustate. Ai cina cu meniu de degustat. Cinci feluri de mancare si nici nu mai stim cate deserturi. Si fiecare fel de mancare e-n pereche cu vinul potrivit, ales special in functie de ingredientele folosite. Si uite-asa incepi cu un aperitiv usor si cateva feliute de paine de casa si focaccia. Si-un pic de ulei de masline delicios, dens si gustos.

EN: And wait a second, that’s not all! You didn’t actually think that you’ll only taste four wines at Banfi. You also have a tasting menu at dinner! Five courses and we don’t even know how many desserts. Each food is paired with the appropriate wine, especially chosen to match the ingredients used. And that’s how you start with a light aperitivo and a few slices of homemade bread and focaccia. And a bit of delicious olive oil, so dense and tasty.
Wine Tasting Castello Banfi 1
RO: Si ce vin sa mearga mai bine cu scoicile delicioase, spuma de branza burrata si salata de pepene galben, daca nu un Alta Langa roze de 2012, un spumant sec de toata frumusetea! Apropo, scoicile erau dementiale!

EN: And what better wine will pair with the delicious scallops, burrata cheese foam and melon salad, if not a rose Alta Langa from 2012, a dry vintage spumante, a highly appreciated artizanal wine! By the way, the scallops were to die for!
Wine Tasting Castello Banfi 2
RO: Si daca tot suntem in perioada obsesiei pentru risotto, e musai sa incercam un risotto ca la carte. Cu putin iaurt si piper cambodgian, si-un pic de capsuna pe deasupra, cat sa iti ia mintile complet! Si daca pui alaturi un Fontanelle alb, din 100% Chardonnay, e clar, ai Paradis in farfurie!

EN: And while we are about it with risotto obsession, it’s a total must to try a perfectly cooked risotto. With a bit of yogurt and some Cambodian pepper, and some strawberry pieces on top, you will lose your mind completely! And if you pair it with some white Fontanelle, 100% Chardonnay, it’s a fact, you’ll have Paradise on a plate!
Wine Tasting Castello Banfi 3
RO: Si continuam festinul in mod traditional, ca doar ce masa cu specific italian fara paste am vazut noi vreodata? Si-avem cannelloni deliciosi cu vita, cu un pic de spuma de pecorino si niste pappa al pomodoro, tipic toscan, cum altfel 🙂 Pappa al pomodoro este de fapt o supa densa de rosii, delicioasa! Iar pentru cei vegetarieni, paste facute-n casa cu sos de rosii si aceeasi spuma dementiala de branza pecorino. Si ce sa mearga mai bine la paste daca nu un elegant Summus rosu din 2003?

EN: And we’ll continue the feast in a traditional way, as we all know that there is no Italian dinner without the famous pasta. So we have some delicious beef cannelloni, with a bit of pecorino foam and some pappa al pomodoro, typically Tuscan, of course 🙂 Pappa al pomodoro is actually a dense tomato soup, delicious! And for the vegetarians, homemade pasta with tomato sauce and the same delicious pecorino cheese. And what better wine to pair it if not an elegant red Summus from 2003?


Tasting Menu Castello Banfi 5
RO: Si daca iti imaginezi ca asta-i tot, ei bine nu, urmeaza coastele de miel cu piper dulce si legume. Ori pestele cu cateva scoici razlete, ascunse printre legume delicioase. Servite cu mult asteptatul Brunello di Montalcino, mandria Banfi-ului.

EN: And if it crossed your mind that you had enough, well no, you’ll have some lamb chops, seasoned with sweet pepper and seasonal vegetables. Or maybe some fish and some delicious scallops, hidden on a vegetable platter. Each of these served with the long expected Brunello di Montalcino, the pride of Banfi.

Tasting Menu Castello Banfi 6
RO: Iar ca desert, o Doamne, ce desert! Un cheesecake delicios si un gelato de cafea. Si-acum intre noi fie vorba, cel mai cel desert este de fapt vinul roze spumant de la Rosa Regale. O nebunie de vin, fara doar si poate!

EN: As for dessert, oh geez, what a dessert! A delicious cheesecake  and a coffee gelato. And now, between you and me, the best dessert is actually the rose sparkling wine from Rosa Regale. A total madness, no doubts about it!
Wine Tasting Castello Banfi 4
RO: Toscana este despre mancare si vinuri, niciun dubiu! Pana la urma, ce-ti vine in minte prima oara cand te gandesti la Toscana? Peisajele superbe – cu drumuri inguste si chiparosi de-o parte si de alta, Florenta – cu al ei Ponte Vecchio si multa, tare multa istorie, si bineinteles, vinurile delicioase, incepand cu Chianti-ul  faimos in toata lumea. Ori cu Vino Noble-ul de Montepulciano. Sau poate deliciosul si apreciatul Brunello di Montalcino. Pana la urma, orice vin ai alege, in Toscana nu ai cum sa dai gres. Nu degeaba e cunoscuta in toata lumea pentru vinurile exceptionale. Iar cele incercate de noi la castelul Banfi au fost pur si simplu perfecte!

EN: Tuscany is all about food and wine, undoubtedly! And in the end, what comes to mind when you think about Tuscany? The gorgeous landscapes – with the narrow roads and cypress trees alongside, Florence – with its Ponte Vecchio and so much history, and of course, the delicious wines, starting the the famous Chianti. Or perhaps the Montepulciano Vino Noble. Or the delicious and highly appreciated Brunello di Montalcino. In the end, no matter what wine you choose, in Tuscany you simply can’t fail. This region is known all around the world for its exceptional wines. And the ones we’ve tried at Banfi Castle were absolutely perfect!

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