Chianti vs Sangiovese – A Guide to Italian wine

Whether or not or not you are a wine drinker you will have puzzled what is the distinction between the Italian Chianti and Sangiovese. This straightforward information to Italian wine will reply your whole questions.

Chianti and Sangiovese wines are adored by wine lovers all around the world.

To higher perceive the distinction between these two, we should always first see how wines get their names. That is primarily achieved in three alternative ways:

  1. They are often named after the primary grape varietal used (largely for monovarietal wines) akin to Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and so forth.
  2. A second approach is to be named after the area during which they have been produced. For instance: Barolo, Chianti, Bordeaux, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and so forth.
  3. The third approach is to be given a reputation that is irrelevant with the grape selection or the area. This title might be the title of the chateau, the title of an individual near the producer, or a reputation the producer likes. For instance: Dom Perignon, Dominus, Blue Fox, Evangelo.
Italian Sangiovese wine poured in a wine glass.
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The principle distinction

Each of those wines are made with pink grapes from the identical Italian wine areas.

The principle distinction between Chianti and Sangiovese is that Chianti is a selected type of wine made primarily from Sangiovese grapes grown within the Chianti area of Tuscany (central Italy), whereas Sangiovese refers to any wine constituted of the Sangiovese grape selection, no matter the place the grapes are grown, together with outdoors of Italy.

In easier phrases, Chianti wine can solely be made within the Chianti area of Italy and will get its title by that area, whereas Sangiovese might be made in every single place and will get its title by the Sangiovese grape which is the one or the predominant grape selection used.

Traits Comparability

Remember the fact that as with many wines, the traits can differ relying on the type of every producer.


When it comes to taste, each Chianti and Sangiovese wines have fruit-forward flavors.

Nonetheless, Chianti might have a extra advanced taste profile attributable to the usage of different grape varieties within the mix, with earthy and savory notes of ripe fruit, herbs, spices and tobacco.

Sangiovese tends to be extra fruit-forward, with noticeable notes of cherry taste and strawberry.


Chianti is normally a medium-full physique wine whereas Sangiovese is often a medium-bodied pink wine.


Chianti is excessive in tannins whereas Sangiovese has medium-high tannins.


Each wines have medium-high acidity.

Alcohol degree

Sangiovese can have wherever from 12 – 14% alcohol content material whereas Chianti is 12 – 14.5% ABV.

Sweetness degree

Each wines are thought of dry, which means they’ve minimal quantity of residual sugar.

Getting older Course of

Barrel growing older is the step between fermentation and bottling. This growing older course of provides the wine extra flavors.

Chianti normally requires longer growing older than Sangiovese. Chianti Classico have to be aged for no less than 11 months in oak barrels, Chianti Riserva for no less than two years and Chianti Gran Selezione for 30 months.

Sangiovese, normally, is calmly aged in impartial oak barrels (however this once more can depend upon the producer).

Serving temperature

Each wines are greatest loved at room temperature (60–68°F / 15-20°C)

Now that the Chianti vs Sangiovese query is roofed, let’s have a look at some helpful details about these wines.

Image of the Italian region Tuscany.

Chianti wine information

Chianti is a mix of no less than 80 p.c Sangiovese grapes (the primary grape selection) and can even embrace different pink grape varieties akin to Canaiolo, Colorino, Ciliegiolo and worldwide varieties like Merlot.

In the course of the previous, the usage of white grapes in a small share was not unusual, however that’s forbidden since 2006 for Chianti-labelled wines.

The wine is produced within the Chianti area of Tuscany and should meet sure laws, together with growing older necessities and alcohol ranges, to be labeled as Chianti.

It’s identified for its vivid acidity, fruity flavors and medium physique. Nonetheless it produced in quite a lot of types, which means that it may well vary from conventional savory wines aged in oak barrels to fashionable, stainless-steel tank aged wines filled with fruity flavors.

Chianti Tasting Notes

Chianti wines are sometimes medium-bodied with excessive acidity and savory flavors of ripe fruit akin to plums and bitter cherries and notes of herbs, spice, and black tea.

Chianti Classico is extra advanced with extra notes of leather-based, tobacco, and darkish fruit.

Chianti Meals Pairings

A rule of thump is to pair merchandise from the identical area. In that sense, Chianti pairs nicely with quite a lot of Italian dishes.

The excessive acidity and savory notes of Chianti make it ideally suited with meals. The excessive acid balances the fats from wealthy dishes and in addition stands as much as tomato sauces.

Some traditional pairings are with grilled steak, pizza (like this Greek pizza with feta), stews, dishes with olive oil and tomato sauce (akin to spaghetti Bolognese, Lasagna, Stuffed Paccheri pasta, tomato pasta), aged cheeses or a cheese board.

Chianti wine with charcuterie board pairing.

Sangiovese wine information

The literal translation of the grape’s title, the “blood of Jove”, refers back to the Roman god Jupiter.

Sangiovese is a pink grape selection that’s primarily grown within the Italian areas of Tuscany, Umbria, and Emilia-Romagna. It’s the most important grape utilized in a few of Italy’s greatest wines, together with Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

Sangiovese resembles to Pinot Noir in the best way it displays the area traits the place it’s grown. Relying on the type, it may be gentle or daring with excessive ranges of tannins.

Sangiovese tasting notes

Sangiovese wines are dry, normally with excessive acidity, medium physique, and savory flavors with notes of pink cherry, black cherry, blackberry, plum, and herbs.

Herbaceous notes akin to truffles, mushrooms, licorice, black tea and spice will also be current.

Wines from hotter areas (like southern Tuscany) are typically extra fruit-forward, whereas these from cooler areas are typically extra acidic with coarser tannins.

Sangiovese Meals Pairings

As a result of excessive acidity and full, supple tannins Sangiovese pairs completely with meat dishes, pasta and arduous cheeses.

Total, each Chianti and Sangiovese wines are versatile and food-friendly, making them an incredible alternative for a variety of meals and events. Whether or not you are having fun with an informal weeknight dinner or a particular celebration, a bottle of both of them is bound to enrich your meal and improve your expertise.

Harvest of Sangiovese grapes in Tuscany.

The tremendous Tuscans

This text wouldn’t be full with out mentioning the tremendous Tuscans.

A Tremendous Tuscan is usually a pink wine from Tuscany that doesn’t restrain itself to indigenous Italian varieties however embraces worldwide grape varieties akin to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to create advanced premium single-varietal or blended wines.

Consequently, tremendous Tuscans are usually not certain by a number of the Italian laws however this doesn’t suggest they luck high quality. In opposite, they are often a number of the greatest wines in Italy.

The time period “Tremendous Tuscan” was first used within the Seventies to explain these wines that had been made outdoors of the official Tuscan wine classification system, which solely permitted sure grape varieties and manufacturing strategies.

Tremendous Tuscans are loved by wine drinkers all around the world and infrequently incorporate Sangiovese and different well-known worldwide, non indigenous varieties such because the French Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah (or Shiraz), and Petit Verdot.

These wines are wealthy, full-bodied, excessive in tannins and filled with fruity flavors. In the event that they endure growing older in oak barrels, they purchase complexity and secondary flavors of vanilla, spice, espresso, toast and chocolate.

Nonetheless, Tremendous Tuscans can differ vastly relying on the grape varieties and the vinification method utilized by the producer.

Whereas Tremendous Tuscan wines had been initially produced outdoors of the standard wine laws, many have now been granted official DOC or DOCG classification.


Tremendous Tuscan wines usually price greater than different Tuscan wines due to their premium grape varieties, winemaking strategies, and growing older necessities.

They’re thought of to be a number of the best Italian wines and are extremely wanted by wine lovers all around the world.


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