Brunello to be cellared: the rules for enjoying it
One recommendation is a must: those who do not have a cool (16°C constant with 80% humidity) and dark area where to keep the bottle laying down in the dark, is best that they avoid storing because it is very probable that they will be disappointed. Any wine and so Brunello too, ages very quickly in our warm and well lit homes.
The other piece of advice regards the bottles to cellar for important occasion. Al Brunello lasts a long time, but the variety thought up for very long cellaring is the Riserva. So if you wish to keep a bottle from your child’s year of birth, to then open at their wedding, use a bottle of Brunello Riserva.
The more careful wineries, like ours produce riserva only in the excellent years among these, awarded 5 stars are: 1945, 1955, 1961, 1964, 1970,1975, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1995, 1997, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010.
MATCHING WITH FOOD
Better to stay with Tuscan dishes: stracotto, roasts, rare Fiorentina steak or roast beef. As you know matching food and wine is based on two criteria assonance and contrast. They count on the tastes that each emphasise each other, or two tastes that compete each other. In our case a favour the first alternative so I would serve with a Brunello Riserva dishes with scarce fatty sauces and with a full taste.
PREPARATION, UNCORKING AND DECANTING
The bottle must be stood up and brought to a temperature of around 20°C a few days prior to serving. Regarding the best moment to open it there are two schools of thought: immediately before serving or the day before. Both work well, the first because it privileges the taste and the second the aroma. In any case it is necessary to decant. Brunello, like all red wine, when twenty or more years old, has some sediment.
To decant one has to have a decanter but also a small funnel with a tight mesh net. The wine must be poured slowly in one sole movement that must be interrupted when the first sediments are visible. The traditionalists rinse the bottle (with some wine) and then pour in the contents of the decanter so as to serve it at the table and to store for the next day. Others exhibit the bottle next to the decanter from which the wine is served
A small note regarding the Coravin corkscrew that inserts a needle into the bottle and sucks out the wine without removing the cork. For those who love aged wines and wish to enjoy them a little at a time, Coravin, is definitely the ideal solution. The remaining liquid is protected by insert gas and remains in perfect conditions until the next tasting. Coravin also allows you to control the quality of wines and decide the best moment to enjoy them. It can be ordered via internet.
To appreciate a great vintage of Brunello one needs a transparent crystal wine goblet with a round middle and an opening going slightly inwards so that the aroma can be directed towards the nose. Avoid balloon shaped glasses and go for large tulip shapes.
A prestigious wine must be sipped slowly. A small amount is enough to appreciate fully its character. Roughly speaking a bottle should be enough for 8-10 guests.