Throughout Tuscany, wine bottles and many a restaurant feature a black rooster, the famed ‘Gallo nero’, a marketing logo for the region’s world famous Chianti Classico fine wines with a ‘history’ that stretches back to the Middle Ages.
As the story goes… Once upon a time, a knight from Siena and a knight from Florence were chosen by their respective cities to race against each other to mark the boundaries of their lands. The race was to start at first light and in order to be the first to wake-up they both used what was considered the alarm clock of the time, a rooster.
The evening before the race, the Sienese knight treated his white rooster to a sumptuous banquet hoping to please him. The Florentine knight decided not to feed his black rooster at all. The next morning, when first light gently touched the countryside, only one rooster broke the silence.
The black rooster of Florence, desperate for food woke up extra early allowing the biggest advantage to the Florentine knight. The white rooster, still fast asleep, failed in waking up the Sienese knight. The Florentine knight succeeded in marking the boundaries of Florence well into the Chianti area.
Ever since this day, the black rooster has become a well-known symbol for great quality wine and Florentine victory.
Tenuta di Carleone Chianti Classico 2018, Tuscany, Italy
A great example of the region, both classical and expressive. It’s a beautiful translucent ruby in the glass with tints of brick dust to the edges. The fruit is bright and has great acidity, but also that delicious depth of baked plums and spice. A great friend to almost any meal that features salumi, pasta and a hefty slow-cooked joint of meat. Around €27 from good wine shops.
San Felice Il Grigio Riserva 2017
Typical of the style that made Chianti wines world famous. Complex and concentrated, this Riserva is balanced and elegant, it boasts the brooding dark cherry and black tea character typical of the Sangiovese grape, allied to wonderful fresh acidity that makes this such a wonderful style of wine to match Italian cuisine. An authentic Chianti Classico from a top estate. A slightly more affordable option, again, available at good retailers.