Via Guarnacci 3, Volterra, Italy
Our Tuscan residence was just outside of beautiful hill top town of Volterra. The surrounding countryside was glorious and town itself a spectacular maze of winding medieval streets and Etruscan ruins. As magical as all this was, sadly my priorities were focused on the fruits of the local vineyards. After visiting the towers of San Gimignano we returned for a wander through Volterra and thankfully stumbled across Enoteca Scali, a fantastic wineshop.
Housed in a beautiful medieval building Enoteca Scali certainly looks the part and the huge collection, of mainly Tuscan wines, on display are enough to quicken the pulse. We shared a couple of confused looks before doing the only reasonable thing and asking for a recommendation. The guy running the show was great and selected an interesting mixed dozen; he chose a variety of local DOCG wines and their more mutinous Tuscana IGT brethren. His knowledge was fantastic and we appreciated the bottle of sparkling he snuck in as a Christmas gift. Enoteca Scali doesn't disappoint in the gourmet department and offers a good selection of local cheese, cured meats, oil, vinegar, dry goods and panforte. Even though we walked out happily laden my brother and I did some quick calculations and questioned whether a dozen bottles would last the Christmas period; we snuck back the next day for another sly six.
Enoteca Scali also doubles as a wine bar. It's possible to grab a bottle off the shelf, relax at one of the small tables out the back and munch on a little local produce. On our final night in Italy this is what we did and enjoyed a Castello Di Ama Chianti Classico 1999 and Moris Avvoltore Maremma Toscana IGT 2004. The Castello Di Ama was classic Chianti; spiced, medium bodied and complex, while the full-bodied Moris Avvoltore was a more fruit driven, but equally delicious with silky oak treatment. The accompanying plate of cheese, salami and lardo was delicious and good value at €8. I was also surprised that there was no corkage charge and the wines simply cost their shelf price. Everything about Enoteca Scali impressed me; the service, ambiance, knowledge, passion, range, prices and salami were all spot on. It's a place that made me very excited and one I'd most certainly recommend; Enoteca Scali is an absolute joy.
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