Learn Your Wine: Sangiovese

By Betchy Crocker

So like, today’s wine is Sangiovese. If you don’t know what Sangiovese is or you’ve never heard of it, you’re probs povo or uncultured. But because we want all our betch family to be well rounded (in the smart sense, not the physical sense) we’re going to explore the amazing world of this Tuscan wine.


Sangiovese is made from the grape of the same name. Lots of history majors (the ones who don’t pour your skinny lattes in the morning) think that the grape dates all the way back to Roman winemaking times. The name Sangiovese actually is derived from the Latin Sanguis Jovis, meaning blood of Jove. Jove was the Roman God who was like the head bro in charge. Myths describe him as using lots of thunderbolts (since he rules the sky and all) and hooking up with hot peasants, so he seems pretty legit. In terms of the wine, the Sangiovese grape is super slow to ripen – kind of like men maturing and realizing that video games are not as important as sex. Additionally, outside of Italy, this wine is not as common, therefore making it cooler.

Types and tastes:

Generally speaking, there are two real types of Sangiovese wine that you can ask for or discuss with a wine bro to make yourself sounds cultured:

  • The “fruit-forward” Sangiovese is exactly what it sounds like. There’s a lot of clove and “spicy” spices (think of a mulled apple cider) along with lots of red fruit like cherry and strawberry.
  • There’s also a “rustic” Sangiovese. This type may tend more toward very strong tannins, dark chocolate, and smoky flavor. This wine is kind of savory, and by kind of we mean a lot. You may get a very bitter chocolate flavor in some cases. Some have even described a kind of oregano and thyme taste for this variety.

Drink with:

One type isn’t necessarily better than the other, but honestly the fruit-forward variety of Sangiovese is probably better if you’re not like a super wine freak:

  • If you have a bottle of Sangiovese that’s more “rustic,” it’ll go super well with savory dishes – especially things with herbs and tomatoes. So, this is definitely a type of wine you want to order at a fancy (see: not Olive Garden or Brio) Italian restaurant OR serve it up alongside homemade marinara.
  • For a Sangiovese that has super high tannins (also more of a “rustic” type), it’ll pair well with roasted meat, cured meats, and hard cheeses (like Parmesan etc.).
  • The general rule for Sangiovese is that the more savory the food, the sweeter the wine will taste. This will come in handy when you’re choking down something spicy.

Tune in next week when I explore probably a white wine because all this red shit has my lips turning weird colors.




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