Vin Santo

Italian Dessert Wine: Vin Santo

Posted on September 16, 2011

One of my favorite style Italian dessert wines is Vin Santo. It actually translates to Saint Wine with the meaning of Holy Wine and is very popular from Rome to the Northern part of Italy.

From Rome down it is all about Limoncello but that is another subject! While we were in Lucca, Italy we had this wine many evenings with dessert. We invested in a couple of bottles and have really enjoyed sharing drinks with friends.

Vin Santo Characteristics:

The typical color is amber with flavors that include nutty or raisin notes with honey and cream attributes. In Italy it is a traditional digestivo (digestive) served at the end of a meal after espresso. Most people will offer it with biscotti (cookies) that you can also dip into the wine.

Vin Santo is made in many parts of Italy, but I think the best are from Tuscany.

There are three recognized DOC’s in Tuscany for Vin Santo.
1. Vin Santo del Chianti (created in 1997)
2. Vin Santo del Chianti Classico (1995)
3. Vin Santo di Montepulciano (1996)

How and what to serve it with:

Italians have mastered the combination of a sweet dessert wine with a less sweet treat to go along with it. Make sure to serve Vin Santo at a coolish temperature.

I know the typical pairing for Vin Santo is biscotti, but I really enjoy this wine with desserts like crostata di frutta and these blackberry mini tartlettes.

Next time you are hosting something or if you are bringing a dessert spice it up by serving it with a vin santo. It is festive and fun and something different for people to experience.

Here are some of my favorite Vin Santo Makers that you should look for :

– Flesin
– Fontodi
– Isola E Olena
– Cappezzana

Note: This wine is ready to drink on purchase and you can expect to pay about $30 for a nice bottle. Try it out and let me know your thoughts!

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