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by Fred McMillin
On Christmas Day...
The Castello (castle) of Gabbiano was completed in 1250 A.D.
Castello di Gabbiano 1996 Chianti Classico Riserva
Classico?—Refers to the core area of the large Chianti district south of Florence, Italy. Established in 1941.
Riserva?—Italian law requires at least three years aging for riservas.
Rating—Substantial but not rough. Can complement even very robust dishes. However, my wife and I have always loved Chianti and pizza. We had it in Florence, and we had this bottle with pizza at home. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. (Incidentally, the Florence pizza was FRIED??)
Proprietor—Milan chemical engineer Raino Alcaini bought Gabbiano for twelve million dollars twenty years ago. He's very progressive, doubling the size of the vineyard to 120 acres, bringing in French oak barrels, etc. etc. How's he doing? America's authority Robert Parker Jr. listed the best Tuscan producers and gave Gabbiano an EXCELLENT!
Contact—Office of Phyllis Turner, (707) 963-7115. FAX (707) 963-1735
Price of the Wine—$17 range
First Celebration of Christ's Birth—c.200 A.D. in Egypt!
Establishing Christmas Date as Dec. 25—345 A.D. in Rome by Bishop Tiberius.
First Drawing of Santa Claus—1863 in Harper's Weekly by cartoonist Thomas Nast.
First String of Christmas Tree Lights—1896 by an employee of a New England telephone company.
About the Writer
Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.
This page created December 2000