Pronunciation: [san-joh-VAY-zeh; san-jaw-VAY-zeh]

One of the top two red grapes (the other being Nebbiolo) in Italy, believed to have originated in Tuscany, where it dominates today. Sangiovese wines are typically high in acid, have moderate to high tannins and a flavor that's lightly fruity with a hint of earthiness. Most are not long-lived and will last for less than 10 years. One strain of Sangiovese is Brunello ("little dark one"), the grape responsible for the potent and long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Sangiovese is the dominant grape in Italy's Chianti wines. Your classic red-sauce wine, Sangiovese is all bright-red fruit and spicy herbs when young; when it ages, it gets rich and almost chocolatey. It’s a great complement to any dish that contains cooked tomatoes, pasta and steak.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

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