Saturday, 12 May 2012

Last Sunday an Osteria saved my life...


From where my family is now living (in a small village in the Lazio's side of Maremma) Southern Tuscany is one of the best destinations for a day trip on a Sunday.
The area is still quite unspoilt and has a great rustic charm with its Medieval countryside towns perched on tufaceous rocks. Driving there is quite a peaceful experience among green hills of olive trees and vineyards and it can also be quite interesting if you would like to visit Etruscan ruins.
Here Sangiovese shows its potential in one of the its best expressions, the Morellino di Scansano.

These have always been the best ingredients for a perfect day out to me, so decision taken: Scansano was our destination, although the weather looked unusually miserable especially for the beginning of May (grey sky, fog and all day long rain) and a walk in the vineyards was not really appealing! The other option was to take a walk in the city centre, maybe visit the History of Wine Museum and finally sit down for a nice meal. Once there obviously the museum was closed for a long lunch break! So no more choice. We had to find a restaurant and cheer ourselves up with some Tuscan food and wine!

And this is how Osteria Rifrullo saved our day....
A cosy and warm  place nicely decorated with ancient instruments hanging from the ceilings and coloured frescoes on the walls. But as I am not that interested in interior design...what I was looking looking for was to taste their cuisine! Starting with a glorious polenta tart with cep mushrooms,
carrying on with a scrumptious plate of bichi (a particular homemade type of pasta similar to spaghetti in its shape) alla norcina (with a sauce made of sausage, chilli and cream) and finally having a satisfying sweet end with cantucci and Vin Santo.




How does it sound? Well, trust me, it tasted better than it sounds.Beautiful, filling, palate flattering, genuine food and that's it. On the other side the house wine is not worth a mention.Normally the Morellino is a medium structured wine with a good intensity of dark berries and even if possibly not the most prestigious Tuscan red it is certainly a very enjoyable wine, but the one we had for lunch was certainly lacking of  backbone and its acidity was overwhelming the whole palate sensations. But luckily I bought a good example of it at the enoteca of the main square. Celestina Fe' is an elegant wine with a good texture, soft, rounded tannins and pronounced aromas of black cherries.
100% of Sangiovese and no oak. A wine with a sophisticated character.

Now if you feel enough inspired to explore the area, I am sure you will find many more interesting places and wines...so good luck and enjoy!!