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Where to buy good vino da tavola?

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San Francisco...
posts: 13
Where to buy good vino da tavola?

We're enjoying Chianti for two weeks, then 2 weeks based in apartment in Florence. Five happy days so far exploring from our apartment in Borgo di Gaiole. We mostly cook "at home".

We've come from a month in France where €3 buys a very palatable red table. What and where should we buy in Chianti region for everyday wine "vino da tavola"?

PS - near Menaggio, Lake Como at a family-style restaurant, we ordered the red "vino della casa". It was excellent! Since we've spent up to 18€ at COOP and wineries for Chianti Classico Riserva not as good.

PSS - we have our car.

Montepulciano, Italy
posts: 3,294
reviews: 1
1. Re: Where to buy good vino da tavola?

Gosh, I wish I knew the area more intimately and could recommend a specific place for "vino sfuso" (literally "loose wine") for this can be found from around Euros 1.50/1.70 a litre and is, in our long experience, always very drinkable and sometimes even impossible to differentiate from the pricey stuff. I'm sure there are several on the main square in Greve. You possibly won't have your own flagon, which they decant it into (rather like buying petrol at a gas station), but most sell small litre / 2 litre glass containers that you can even return. Perhaps treat yourselves to a nice locally made ceramic jug to serve it in, they're cheap enough and make a lovely souvenir to take home afterwards.

ps: unless entertaining friends, when eating out we always drink vino della casa and have never yet come across anything remotely rough, restauranteurs wouldn't dare risk their reputation.

Edited: 5:03 am, October 07, 2011
Castellina in...
posts: 2,748
reviews: 8
2. Re: Where to buy good vino da tavola?

If you plan to visit Greve, on Saturday morning, in addition to the usual market in the main square, there is a "farmers' market" across the bridge near the parking building (5 minutes walk away). You can buy excellent "Bag-in-box" Chianti Classico for the prices your talking about. If you can't go on a Saturday, contact Sergio Ballini and pick some up from his property http://www.podere-san-cresci.com

Otherwise, there is a place on Via di Roma a few steps away from the main piazza of Greve. Take your own containers and he will fill them. I don't know if he sells "no name" vino di tavola but he has prestige wines there for a fraction of the bottled price.

San Francisco...
posts: 13
3. Re: Where to buy good vino da tavola?

Thank 10^6 to you gentlemen -- sadly your rapid replies arrived as we drove north this morning to Greve and Montefioralle.

Your guidance is incredibly valuable, so hopefully we can return to Greve tomorrow for the Saturday market.

I wonder if Fattoria Montagliari is open for visitors on Saturday? Probably not, but that is an additional motivator. Any other suggestions for a sunny Saturday market in Greve?

Castellina in...
posts: 2,748
reviews: 8
4. Re: Where to buy good vino da tavola?

On this Sunday (9 Oct), there is a "steak festival" in the piazza of Greve - a giant cookout. It's possible there will be some wine sellers there as well.

If you want to do a small wine tasting at Montefioralle, try phoning La Fonte http://www.montefioralle.info/lafonte.htm Visit Montefioralle in any case - it's a beautiful little place.

Edited: 1:44 am, October 08, 2011
San Francisco...
posts: 13
5. Re: Where to buy good vino da tavola?

Thank you for the tips. We visited Montefioralle yesterday - a beautiful village as you said. We also had a special mid-day meal at the Taverna (whose name I need to look up).

For today Saturday our friends are keen to Montepulciano instead of a return to Greve for the market. Looking for vino sfuso there I have so far located only one possible source:

1. Azienda Agricola LOMBARDO http://www.cantinalombardo.it/acquisti.it.php

Have you advice for other better suppliers in Montepulciano?

Alternatively just for vino sfuso I've located VALDARNO SUPERIORE SOCIETA' COOPERATIVA AGRICOLA in San Giovanni Valdarno: http://www.valdarnosuperiore.it/english.asp

Again thanks for all the invaluable local knowledge!

San Francisco...
posts: 13
6. Re: Where to buy good vino da tavola?

Where to buy a jug for "Vino Spruso"? Say 2 to 5 litres?

I have a Google Map where I am collecting information of possible visits, food, wineries, ...

http://g.co/maps/5wcyy

Montepulciano, Italy
posts: 3,294
reviews: 1
7. Re: Where to buy good vino da tavola?

Vino sfuso everywhere around here - you'll see signs by the roadside as you pass. Coming from Pienza, Palazzo Massaini on the left about 5 mins out of town, a magnificent building, vino sfuso and also a fab Chianti Classico Riserva for Euros 5 - we bought a case last week. About another 5/8 minutes further on, on the left as you go down a hill is a farm, you'll see the two steel fermentation vats behind the house, pull in here, be mindful of the dogs, always reliable sangiovese. Otherwise beyond Montepulciano on the left again just as you go up the hill a huge ristorante place with plenty of parking (you'll see a mountain of firewood too outside), the name escapes me now, but good wine here too plus hams, cheeses, etc. For the jug, coming out of Pienza on the right you'll see two large ceramic places both of which sell them, the first one (on the left as you look at) is better value than the place attached to it on the right. Can't miss these for they have massive statues in a garden outside.

San Francisco...
posts: 13
8. Re: Where to buy good vino da tavola?

Remarkable advice, thank you.

Of those options you offered, is your personal preference for the Palazzo Massaini for everyday vino da tavola, or...?

We will definitely buy some of the Palazzo Massaini Chianti Classico Riserva -- "fab" for €5 will be a treat!

San Francisco...
posts: 13
9. Re: Where to buy good vino da tavola?

Silly question: what are the open days/hours for such as Palazzo Massaini?

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 3
reviews: 4
10. Re: Where to buy good vino da tavola?

EVerywhere! But I had such a great experience with a store in Greve-in-Chianti, I must share! We picked up some panforte and wine at a store, Masoni Pietro, in the piazza. One of the panfortes had a worm in its very lovely figs and walnut concoction that I didn't discover until the souvenir recipient opened it and reported it to me. I immediately contacted the store via email, as I was back in the states by then. Their response was quick and excellent, with explanation, apology and offer to send me some of their goodies. I received a box of treats from their store - ah Italia! The store offers samples, and has a wine tasting aspect - you load a card with money, and choose your pour from the bottles for sale. It's a normal way of wine-tasting in Chianti.

Have fun!