Calini 2012 Chianti

Chianti DOCG, Italy; 12.5% ABV
$5 at the Oakland, CA, store on 29 Dec, 2014

Calini_2012_ChiantiI wondered why I couldn’t see through the bottom of this bottle, so I decanted it with a light under the shoulder just to be safe.  Despite the eerily pristine cork, there was a large amount of sediment, which worried me in such a young wine.  Indeed, the nose of the wine was terrible: stinky and oxidized.  The taste was better than the smell, but was still like a mix of wine and sherry, and it only got worse with time in the glass.  The rest went into the cooking stash.  Again, I give the caveat that this was only one bottle, but unless anyone reports a different experience, I recommend avoiding this wine altogether.  I might even return the rest of it instead of cooking with it.

9 thoughts on “Calini 2012 Chianti

  1. Michael Tarelka

    I used to have a girlfriend who would put old bottles of wine next to the stove for “cooking”. I compared that act to using rotten tomatoes, green cheese and brown meat as similar ingredients. Please cook with wine you would drink, the outcomes are much better.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Michael and welcome! Although I understand there are different philosophies on this subject, I myself have never noticed that adding wine to a food adds more than some fruity acidity. That is, I don’t even get any varietal character from it once it’s in a dish, much less any secondary complexities. So, to me, it’s not worth pouring something good into my cooking. But maybe you would feel better knowing I don’t keep my cooking wine near the stove? 🙂 What do you like to make that you feel benefits from good wine?

      1. lim13

        I’ll chime in here. Beef Bourguignon and Coq Au Vin, where the wine is as important as the meat or fowl. But in many other dishes, your philosophy works for me, BW.

        1. flitcraft

          I’ve got a recipe for risotto that calls for a half bottle of Barolo wine. Never made it because I just can’t see using such an expensive wine in the risotto, but I’m sure a lesser wine wouldn’t really do justice to the dish. Hmmm…I wonder if I have a bottle of that GO Barolo from a few months back kicking around–maybe it’s just Barolo-like-enough to try out that recipe.

      1. flitcraft

        I think not all wine people are terribly sophisticated about food, and not all foodies have much of a clue about wine. There’s some kind of Venn diagram that would show the overlapping circles where food and wine people happen to coincide, but the overlap is by no means a huge one, at least in my experience.

        1. Darrell

          Flit, I agree wholeheartedly and have always imagined myself as a dot smack dab in the middle of that lenticular overlap. As far as the level of food sophistication of both foodies and winos, there is at one end, armchair food people who can read and eat and at the other, those who can cook the food and have the ability to get and utilize fine ingredients. I bet many of us and our friends on this blog are sophisticated about food and I know some of us here forage our own and know how to cook it. On the other hand, I remember a wine friend who opened a First Growth 40 years ago to have with his pizza back when pizzas weren’t fancied up. I have often thought about where I was on this continuum of foodie and wino and for me it wasn’t so much wine or food but rather THE DINNER. I used to entertain both types at home but no longer. I would go through the trouble of buying uncommon ingredients ( 1983 foie gras) , picking it or shooting it for THE DINNER and then pull out a fine old bottle or two for THE DINNER. Theoretically this dinner can only be done once due to time, the time and conditions to get THE BOTTLE to that stage for that dinner while the food portion can be pretty much duplicated unless you live in Cahlifornia where it’s illegal to buy foie gras ( thanks Ahnold). So if I had to err on one side or the other, I guess I’m a wino.


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