Santa Cristina

 A Special Wine…

This bottle of Santa Cristina was given to me by my sister’s in-laws last year, during the holidays. It’s made from a blend of Merlot, Syrah, Sangiovese, and Cabernet. And, you can find it just about anywhere: Total Wine, local grocery stores, online, etc., in the $9.99 to $13.99 range. What makes it a special wine isn’t it’s IGT classification, it’s because Jean and Tommy gave it to me (I appreciated the gift so much!). Jean has been going through cancer treatments for what seems like forever (although you wouldn’t know it because she never complains or talks about it) and when I recently saw them, her hair had almost grown back to where it was before and she looked great! So, when I opened this Italian red, I cheered to them, cheered to her health, and absorbed a moment of gratefulness.

The Santa Cristina estate is located in southern Tuscany, in the town of Cortona. Annata (“ah-not-ah”) just means the vintage (2013- the year the grapes were harvested).

It was good.

It had a medium to full body, with a pretty, clear ruby hue in the glassa nice, easy-drinking red— and much smoother than many of the Italian blends I’ve tried within the same price range. Perhaps the addition of Syrah made it a bit softer? The tannins were smooth, and while the finish wasn’t memorable, it’s a budget friendly bottle to have on hand for your daily table wine. Although, it’s a literal step above a Vdt (Vino da Tavola = “table wine”) which is the lowest designation for Italian wines.

The most important thing you need to know in regards to an Italian wine list is that “Rosso” means Red Wine…

Need another reason to try this bottle?

Another reason to purchase this bottle: How about those excessive (expensive) wine get togethers? This is a great one to decant for immoderate wine nights! We’ve all tried those $10 and under experiments, successfully wasting ten dollars, but this one is worth it (this is nothing to brag about, but I had three glasses of this particular bottle and didn’t wake up with a headache).

Screw caps are often associated with “cheap” wine, but it isn’t so! Plus, you won’t get a bottle with TCA “cork taint” and, they’re easier to open! *Santa Cristina didn’t have a screw cap, just a regular “judgy” cork.

Sangiovese is the most popular Italian wine grape.

Most Italian reds from the Toscana (Tuscany) region are made from the Sangiovese grape. For example, in the Chianti (“Kee-an-tee”) region of Tuscany, a wine must be at least 80% Sangiovese in order to be called Chianti (some are 100%). This bottle of Santa Cristina is from the Toscana region, so as an average consumer who isn’t an Italian wine specialist, I could only assume it would contain Sangiovese. I had to go to their website to find out what type of grapes were used, but the exact percentages were not available.

In vino veritas (in wine there is truth)

There are hundreds of Italian grape varieties and several classifications, so Italy is still a confusing region for me. The good news is, there’s always something new to learn and there are many resources available to keep learning from! Salute!

Here’s a few interesting, simple articles on Italian wine labels:

How to read Italian wine labels

How to read an Italian wine label


Want to say Cheers in Italian? =  Salute! (“Sah-loot-eh”)

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I'm a wine enthusiast, writer of words, & hoarder of books. I have an applied science degree in dental hygiene, but writing, reading, & learning about wine is much more enjoyable than administering local anesthesia and removing biofilm! Cheers to being happy & healthy (so you can enjoy more wine!) Follow me on Twitter: Misty@RedWineCats & Instagram too: __MistyC__ Thank you!

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