Every so often, when you’re having a really bad day and you want to tear your eyeballs out and throw them like ping pong balls at the hoardes of Asian tourists clogging up your neighborhood streets, the universe throws you a little sparkly nugget of joy and you get invited to join a wine tour in the countryside of Montalcino, tasting Brunello a.k.a the best friggin wine in the world.
Guys, if you haven’t met Coral, creator of Curious Appetite, do yourselves a favor and head over to her website now. Trust me when I tell you that if you love food, or even just like it a little bit, you really really want to be friends with her.
Not only does she run a blog with useful tips for eating in Florence with restaurant recommendations, but she also does these gourmet food tours which is kind of like having your best friend take you around the city and show you all the kick-ass places to eat your face off.
My day with Coral went a little something like this:
6:30 am: Wake up at the buttcrack of dawn and seriously consider turning off my alarm clock. Am lured out of bed by the thought of wine for breakfast.
8:00 am: Trek over to Piazza Tasso to meet Coral and Tommaso, boss man from We Like Tuscany. Find out that We Like Tuscany runs all kinds of tours, from biking to Fiats to Vespas.
8:15 am: Hop into our private minivan for the day and begin the 2 hour journey into the countryside of Montalcino. Have to pull over on the way for obligitory holy shit! photos of the scenery.
10:30 am: First winery visit to Casato Prime Donne. Am blown away by the fact that the entire place is run exclusively by women, the first all-women winery in Italy. Ask Donatella, founder of the place, if she is looking to adopt any Californians some time soon.
12:30 pm: After a few glasses of tasty Brunello and a pit stop to pee, we arrive at the second location, Azienda Agricola Santa Giulia, and are inspected by security before we are allowed to enter:
1:00 pm: Sit down to a home made lunch of pici pasta with a wild boar sauce. Discreetly try to lick my plate clean without anyone else noticing.
2:30 pm: After a delicious meal, we decide to stop for a coffee in the quaint city center of Montalcino.
2:35 pm: Run back to the car in the midst of a freak hail storm.
3:00 pm: Visit our final winery, Le Fornace. Am thoroughly impressed as Fabio, the main man on the farm, explains just how much dedication and effort goes into producing this wine, all done on just 4.5 hectares of land.
6:00 pm: .Return to Florence with a belly full of Brunello and a great plan to open my own farm with dogs and chickens and wine production, all of which will promptly be forgotten after the wine buzz wears off.
If you’re interested in doing a tour with Curious Appetite, you can contact Coral via her website www.curiousappetitetravel.com.