Vin Santo is one of my favorite style of dessert wines. It is not to heavy and lighter then a port. The name translates to Saint Wine (Holy Wine) because of the sweeter wine that you find in at a Catholic Mass. It is very popular from Rome to the Northern part of Italy.
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. It 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 it at a coolish temperature as it is nice with a little chill on it.
The typical pairing is biscotti, but I really enjoy this wine with other 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 Vin Santo to your guest. It is festive and fun and something different for people to experience.
Here are some of my favorite makers to look for :
– Isola E Olena
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!