by Fred McMillin
for December 8, 1999


Frescobaldi and Mondavi



Danzante In 1307 the King of England needed a loan. He wished to purchase the equivalent of 1.1 million bottles of Bordeaux claret for his wedding celebration in London.

The Rest of the Story

Who came up with the money? It was a bank in Florence, the House of Frescobaldi. They have been in the wine business ever since.

California's Robert Mondavi did not just fall off the turnip wagon last week. So, when he started a new venture producing affordable Danzante ("dancing" in Italian) wines from eastern Italy, who is his partner?...the House of Frescobaldi. Their first red is today's selection.

Wine of the Day

'97 Danzante (dahn-ZAHN-TAY) '97 Sangiovese
Appellation—The Marche (MAHR-keh) region on the Adriatic Sea east of the Frescobaldi's eight estates (1,200 acres of vines) near Florence.
Composition—90% fruit-laden Sangiovese (the principal grape of Chianti) plus a bit more backbone from 10% Merlot.
Rating—Highly recommended in its price range.
Food Affinity—Will pair with your holiday turkey or ham nicely.
Contact—Regina Lutz at (707) 251-4488, FAX (707) 251-4386


We must mention that this is the birthday of a literary giant who enjoyed Italian wines long before even the Frescobaldis were in business. The great Roman poet Horace was born Dec. 8, 65 B.C. He fined his wine with egg whites. He opposed adding salt from the sea to wine since it would leave an unpleasant memory the next morning. He certainly would have "cracked open an amphora" on his birthday to sharpen his skills, for he felt that "No poem was ever written by a drinker of water".

Nina Wemyss' Soul of The Vine
Research by Diane Bulzomi
Hugh Johnson's Vintage
H. Warner Allen's A History of Wine

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


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