Smoth’s Rating: 8.3/10
There are some who argue that wine is meant to be had with food. Others (including myself) believe some wines are best consumed solo. But, on occasion, a wine like Antinori Pèppoli Chianti Classico comes along that pairs so well with a meal, you wonder why you ever drank wine without food.
Chiantis are notorious for pairing well with food. With a crisp acidity, lighter body, and range of bright flavours from the Sangiovese grape, they can be sipped alongside meals ranging from simple pastas to more elaborate haute cuisine. I even find that Chiantis (and particularly, their more exclusive Classico counterparts) pair exceptionally well with vegetarian food — something many wine drinkers struggle with. Pèppoli is certainly no exception, and I have enjoyed it with a range of meals.
Antinori Pèppoli Chianti Classico 2013 Tasting Notes
Everything about Pèppoli perpetuates quiet refinement. From it’s simple, appealing label, to the vibrant, clear red it pours into the glass, this wine exudes understated attractiveness. Like most Sangiovese wines, Pèppoli has a quite mild aroma. There’s fresh-cut strawberries, a spicy woodiness like cedar, and an earthy undertone that reminded me of an orange pekoe tea bag. It’s subtle, pleasant, and with patience opens up a bit into a quiet, but aromatic wine.
Unlike some of its other Chianti kin, this wine balances its considerable acidity with a range of flavours making it a well rounded drink. There’s the strawberries and tea that were present on the nose, but the wood softens into a simple oakiness and the spice picks up into a crisp black pepper. The acidity is bright, but not too sharp, and there’s a lovely earthiness as a foundation which rounds out Pèppoli very well. It’s this simple balance of pleasant, accessible flavours that allow Pèppoli to pair so well with a range of foods.
If you’re bringing wine to a dinner, but you don’t know what’s being cooked, Pèppoli is almost a sure bet. It’s simple, accessible, easy to enjoy and makes a damn fine pairing with any number of dishes. It’s the perfect wine to sip slow with a good meal.