Entirely a Different Kind of Fiasco

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If you want to bring a gleam of nostalgia to the eye of a person of a certain age, just mention the Chianti fiasco (or fiascho). It’s the flask-shaped bottle, with the bottom covered in straw. We might not be as old as the characters from Mad Men, but many of us of will remember first encountering Chianti at a restaurant like the one in the photo (John’s of 12th St, for instance, or Bamonte’s), where you can spot the bottle in question on the table. Red-checked table cloths, huge meals of Italian-American food, and  the straw-covered bottles (which after being emptied were turned into candle-holders, often covered with a mountain of melted wax) were all a significant part of our early days in restaurants – and the wine in those bottles seemed just fine. Gradually things changed – we got fussier about our wine, and the quality of the wine declined, and the straw was replaced by plastic – a general symptom of the industrialization of wine (the food didn’t seem as good either). For years now we’ve joked about finding a good Chianti in fiasco. Our joke has now come true, and the wine is exceptional. Our friends at Monte Bernardi in Panzano have leased a fine vineyard, and after a little arm-twisting they agreed to bottle the wine in fiasco - in the convenient liter-size, which when you consider the quality of the wine makes this even more tempting. Have great wine and amaze and amuse your older friends and family!

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Monte Bernardi 2012 Chianti Classico 1 Liter Fiasco

Absolutely delicious and mouthwatering wine. From organically farmed vines at high elevation in Panzano — one of the noble addresses in Chianti. It’s 12.5 alcohol and correspondingly fresh; on the light side of medium-bodied but with great depth of flavor. Savory, mineral, with some lovely light black cherry fruit, and real complexity. Altogether remarkable for the price, and you can extend the life of the package by adopting the old practice of turning the empty bottle into a candle holder! JW

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