Everyone has heard of Chianti. I know you have because either your parents or yourselves have put a candle in one of those bottom basket-ed (called fiasco) empty Chianti bottles because we thought it would look cool. And it lit up the room when you wanted that real authentic Italian restaurant dinner theme look, just like the spaghetti scene in “Lady and the Tramp”. Those of your born before 1975 will most likely remember that Disney movie.

Anyway, Chianti is a red wine mostly or entirely made from the Sangiovese grape grown in the Italian wine area Chianti in the region of Tuscany and is a wonderful pairing for pastas with red sauces. Why? Because it pairs well with the acidity in the tomatoes used to make the sauce.

If you pronounce the “CH” like a hard “K” you’ve got it right. Think of the word cholesterol, (which we don’t like to think about, but hey, wine can actually be beneficial). Now the “i” is a short rather than long one and said as “ee”. The two together we would enunciate as “KEY”.The second syllable is pronounced simply as your mother or fathers’ sister..AUNTY. Whether you say AWNTY or ANTY you will be fine. Chianti is now Keyaunty, ci!

If you are travelling to Italy in the next little while or just visiting your favourite Italian restaurant, ask for a KEY -AUNTY not a CHIE-ANT-TIE to go with your favourite tomato sauced pasta. You will get the wine you actually requested instead of a $2 bottle with a name like “Giant Tree”. Oh, I almost forgot, keep the empty bottle and put a candle in it for old time sake.


Tags: Wine Basics