Vin Santo, or “holy wine,” comes primarily from the Tuscan region of Italy – although you can find it in other regions, such as Umbria. There are a many styles, using a a number of local grapes. The typical white grapes used are Trebbiano and Malvasia, but there are many producers using red grape varieties (such as Sangiovese) to produce a rosé style wine. The color also ranges from pale to dark caramel, with pronounced flavors that work well with chocolate.
They can be very expensive – such as the amazing Avignonesi Vin Santo di Montepulciano which can be more than $200 for a 375 ml bottle – but most are found in the $25-$35 range. One of our favorites is the Isole & Olena Vin Santo which can be found for less than $20. It is a well-balanced, elegant wine with a long, lingering finish. We like it with chocolates that have almond and hazelnut flavors which match well with the wine.
We recently tried La Calonica Vin Santo di Montepulciano, which showed nice nut flavors, and a hint of mocha that worked well with semi-sweet chocolate.