Lunch in Volpaia, Dinner in Radda

For lunch we drove to the scenic town of Volpaia which, apart from endless vineyards, is just a church, caffe, and wine tasting store. Turns out their food was pretty terrific and well priced.

I ordered an assortment of local cheeses and meats along with their house red wine (trying to cut back for the budget).

Sydney ordered panzanella, a bread salad with tomatoes, basil, and cucumbers soaked in a vinegar sauce.

It was a perfect lunch. Spicy meats, rich cheeses, great salad, all washed down with some quality wine. Our lunch, however, had nothing on dinner.

Our second and also very impressive meal in Radda was at La Perla del Palazza, a restaurant located about 20 meters from where we had had dinner the previous night. Here we decided to indulge once more on good tuscan cuisine. We had a bottle of Volpaia since we had declined that at lunch (in Volpaia, ironically) in favor of a more budget friendly wine.

The Volpaia was lighter and fruity, with medium tannin and a medium finish. Red berries on the nose and tongue. It was much lighter than our Fonterutoli 2010 Chianti Classico the night before, which was heavier, bolder with a strong oaky finish.

First course:

I ordered a Pici pasta with eggplant and fresh mozzarella di buffala. The pasta was thicker and slightly chewy than say a spaghetti, with a savory tomato sauce with some very distinct oregano. Occasionally I came across a slightly sour bit of eggplant or a rich bit of melted mozzarella. Overall, quite tasty.

Sydney ordered a gnochetti. I actually cannot remember exactly what else was in it. I’m sure Sydney will be able to contribute more later.

For the main course, I had spiced rabbit tenderloins with spinach puree. The rabbit was light and savory, with a slightly gamey taste. It was strongly seasoned with pepper and coriander.

Sydney had wild boar again on traditional tuscan bread that resembles grits. The meat was tender and hearty with a slight tangy and smokiness. Very well done.

We were refreshed after dinner with a shot of Grappa Chianti Classico (distilled grape must) and a Vin Santo (italian dessert wine) with cantucci.

I found the grappa to be very refreshing. It burned in your mouth for a moment, but after swallowing you felt a rush of grape aromas that were very pleasing. Sydney did not care for the taste of alcohol.

Sydney’s Vin Santo, however, was perfectly delicious. It has a distinctly vanilla and almond flavor and pairs perfectly with the cantucci cookies. It really was an excellent meal.

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