Above: Enoteca Falorni, Greve in Chianti

Tuscan Enotecas With Enomatics

Tuscany has no shortage of enotecas (combination wine bar and shop) offering tastings. But in many of them, as is too often the case in Europe, one either has complimentary tastes of wines in order to decide which bottle(s) to buy, or one simply purchases wine by the glass, making it difficult to taste more than two without becoming intoxicated. Neither choice is ideal for the traveler interested in learning about Tuscany’s wines by comparing several examples in a row.

Nowadays, an increasing number of enotecas are taking advantage of Enomatic machines to offer samples of far more (and far better) wines. The Chianti-based Enomatic company has developed machines that can dispense measured portions of wine while keeping the rest of the bottle intact by filling it with nitrogen, an inert gas that won’t cause the wine to oxidize. This system allows a shop to offer a dozen or more wines to taste, rather than just, say, four or five. These delightful contraptions can now be found around the world. I won’t soon forget tasting Latour, Margaux, Cheval Blanc and Ausone, in succession, from a certain blessed Enomatic machine in Bordeaux!

On my recent trip to Tuscany, I decided to seek out enotecas with Enomatics, which are ideal for those interested in doing wine tastings without investing hours in the experience or being pressured to buy a bottle. The wine shops and bars below have their own systems, but I found each tasting to be both enlightening and thoroughly pleasurable. Since we had our own car, I was sure to request a sputtacchiera — spittoon — at each venue, in order to limit alcohol consumption.

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Above: Enoteca Falorni, Greve in Chianti

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