HCL: This week was much more relaxing then the last with only 2 trips. My favorite trip was to Montepulciano where we did a delicious wine and food tasting, all of which had been grow/created/slaughter in or around the city walls. The food was delicious, as all the food has been, but what really caught my attention was the wine we tried. We started with a 2010 bottle and then moved to a 2008 and then finally to 2006. As we tried all the different versions of the same wine, it was obvious the tastes were more extreme as we went back in years. My favorite was the 2008, it was less strong then the 2006, but more dry then the 2010. Maybe it was my palette that has not matured enough to enjoy the oldest bottle but no matter the reason, I bought the 2008 bottle because I enjoyed it so much.
After taking pictures of the bottles I noticed the bottom of the bar was made from a sparkly wood. I was intrigued and started looking closer and our tour guide noticed my interest. He explained that the bar wood had been taken from the inside of the wine barrel and the crystals had been from the fermentation of the wine over many years. I was interested in these crystals and wondered where they came from. When I researched the idea I found that they were potassium tartrate crystals created from the wine. This is a problem because the flavors that are added to the wine from the barrels cannot seep into the wine as it ages. You can see these crystals next to my roommate and then the barrels used are in the final picture with my vet school graduating date '16 and my initials HL. This was a wonderful day; we came home full and happy from the good food, good wine and great company.