Who is the second largest wine producer in the world? If you said Italy, then you’ve guessed right! Italy celebrates 20 wine regions (there are an arguable seven in France) within, making wine exploration in Italy a wine drinkers labourious treat. Understanding this makes it easier to understand why our wine groups meetup, entitled Italian Red’s, focused on only one Italian wine region, Tuscany.

Toscana wines, wines made in Tuscany, are made primarily from the Sangiovese grape, a deep purple, thick skinned grape known well, through its usage in Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.  To take us through Italian reds of Tuscany, our host and sommelier, Victor Brum, graduated the group through three different levels of Tuscan wines, according to the designation.

We started our exploration with a 2011 VDT, which we paired with spaghetti and tomato sauce. The wines notable acidity, paired extremely well with the natural acidity found in the tomato sauce. Further, starting out with a Tuscan VDT showed the group not just the range of Toscana wines, all made primarily from the Sangiovese grape, but it also showed how those wines in the region, with a table wine designation, still fared well. Our second wine of the evening was Montaro’s Rosso di Montelcino, which was paired with a mushroom risotto. This Rosso di Montelcino was made 100% from Sangiovese grosso grape and was notably more refined and provided a larger mouth feel, when compared to our first choice. We ended the evening with a Vino Nobile Di Montepuciano DOCG, from Rocca delle Macie, an honest and elegant crowd favourite. It was a blend composed 90% by Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo, and we paired it with steak.  Vino Nobile Di Montepuciano is known as one of Italy’s more superior wines, and it was obvious to grasp with this tasting experience.

The event was held at BruDa restaurant on College St. West, in Toronto and was hosted by Victor Brum, sommelier and owner of the establishment. BruDa is a modernly styled open concept resto, with fantastic bench like seating, brooding communal characteristics and behaviours.  It’s dinner menu, designed by Chef Gordan Calman, boasts  of an array of dishes, spanning past the expected Italian culinary delights. Entrée prices range from $16 to $18, and their wine list is robust, but knowing the immense wine knowledge of sommelier Brum, if he is on site, you can feel comfortable leaving the wine pairings up to him.