Prior to going to Florence, Jillian said the one thing she definitely wanted to do was Pino’s wine tasting. After meeting him while he made our panini’s the day before our tasting, I was pretty excited for it.
Pino is a busy man; he runs a salumeria and sandwich shop during the day and then does wine tasting across the street at night. And he’s a minor celebrity among the American college students!
(sorry in advance for the poor quality of the photos – we were down in a wine cellar with bad lighting)
We did our wine tasting with 12 others – all Americans and all between the ages of 20 and 23. Which is basically who inhabits Florence. I think we heard more English than Italian the entire time we were there.
The table all set for our wine and Italian food tasting.
Despite being the grandma of the group, it was so much fun! Pino provided plenty of parmesano reggiano, balsamic vinegar and bread along with prosciutto and two types of salami. He described how each was made, what made them specific to thier region, what to look for when purchasing and the best way to eat them.
We then delved into the Italian wines: one white (Chardonnay) and two reds (Chianti Classico and Super Tuscan). For the wines, he explained how to use your three senses – sight, scent and taste – to determine what to expect from the wine. He also talked about how they were made and what made them special in Italy (note: always look for the black rooster on Chianti Classico).
Everyone was really into it, even the “kids”, who clearly knew nothing about wine. One asked how much he should pay for a bottle, because his limit was $4. Oof. Little known fact, the bottle and cork alone cost €1.50.
At the end of the tasting, after drinking 3+ hearty size glasses of wine, Pino chooses people to conduct his drunk test. Happy to report that I passed with flying colors.
Check it out here.
And here’s a picture of Jillian and I with Pino. Take a look at my face. And now take a gander at the temperature down there.
One poor guy was wearing a button down and he was drenched. And his glasses kept fogging up. Good thing we had lots of wine and good food to distract us from the heat.
It was such a fun night and for €15, you can’t beat the price! I’d highly recommend this to anyone going to Florence.