Written by: Tim Edison

Updated on: October 28, 2019

A Beginner's Guide to Tignanello Wine

Have you ever heard of Tignanello wine? If not, it’s time to learn more about this variety. A favorite of Meghan Markle’s, this is a top choice!

Tignanello wine

Tignanello may not be a wine that many people have heard of, but it looks set to take off in a big way thanks to Meghan Markle – the American actress who became a British princess!

Ms Markle may have married a prince, but she’s still got a good old down to earth attitude, and that’s why her taste in wines is so interesting. After all, a love of fine wine is something we all have in common with the former Suits actress, right?

She has been quite open in the past about her passion for quality wines, and particularly about “The Tig” variety. So, what should we know about this Tuscan red, and is it really worth making such a fuss about?

Inspiring a Lifestyle Blog

Tignanello wine isn’t just Meghan’s favorite wine, it was the inspiration for the name of her lifestyle blog. The Tig took its title from Antinori’s Italian Tuscan wine that proved to be so popular with the now-princess.  It’s pretty impressive that a wine could inspire a whole blog, but it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise when you taste a Tignanello.

It’s no wonder that the now Duchess of Sussex is such a fan of this tipple. This fruity red is just perfect for the new Royal’s palate, with its cherry flavors and smoky notes.

Tignanello wines

What Should I Know About This Wine?

Tignanello hails from Italy’s Tuscany region and is made from a blend of Sangiovese with some Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon thrown in. The result is one of the region’s most desirable wines which has rightly earned the accolade of being regarded as one of the finest in Italy.

This wine is actually known as a “Super Tuscan” – an impressive sounding title – and one that belies its relatively recent heritage. It was only first produced in the 1970s, and that makes it only slightly older than the princess herself.

The term “Super Tuscan” means that this wine was made in Tuscany but doesn’t meet the Italian DOC standards. Instead, this genus of wines are usually based on Sangiovese grapes with international varieties added to the blend.

Recommended Article: We explain all about the famous Montepulciano region next.

Grapes ready for winemaking

From The Antinori Winery

Piero Antinori of Italy’s Antinori Winery was responsible for the production of this relatively new wine. It remains the only winery to this day which makes this wine variety.

This winery has a long and illustrious heritage. Founded originally back in the 14th century, it remains one of the largest in Italy. Although this winery produces numerous other varieties of wine, it is best known for its Tignanello wine for which it holds the trademark.

Blended With Sangiovese Grapes

Just like the majority of other Tuscan wines, this variety is mostly made from Sangiovese grapes. However, Piero Antinori is on record as having said that, when he first began to produce this wine in the early 1970s the Sangiovese grapes weren’t well selected. That meant he needed to find a different variety of grape to blend with the Sangiovese and to complement its authentic Tuscan character.

The winery took the decision to use around 20% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in the blend with great success. Around ten years later, they then introduced the Cabernet Franc grape into the blend to perfect the recipe that we know and love today.

Vineyard for amarone wine

A Bold Choice

During Italy’s Super Tuscan wine revolution, a number of wineries were working on giving their wines a revamp so they could be the best they could be. As a result, they were taking a rebellious stance against Italy’s restrictive regulations which dictated that every single grape had to only hail from a single region.

Piero Antinori of the Antinori Winery was one of the earliest challengers to the Italian rules. He was keen to create a wine that had a more indulgent and richer flavor that stood apart from the other wines of his Tuscan region which were usually cut with white grape varieties to produce a light flavor.

The resulting red wine is bold, dramatic and rich – exactly what Piero Antinori had in mind when he chose to rebel against the system! Ms Markle herself was suitably impressed after taking her first sip of this blend. She was quoted as saying that, despite her minimal knowledge of wine, after tasting “The Tig” she suddenly understood what the structure of wine was all about.

Recommended Reading: Don't miss our guide to Meiomi wines next!

How Does The Tig Taste?

Now that we know how bowled over Her Royal Highness was by this fine red wine, what can we actually expect it to taste like?

Well, the primary flavor that you’ll experience on your first sip will be delicious red fruits with a strong cherry overtone. However, afterwards spicy and herby notes with a hint of tobacco will linger on the palate, ensuring that this is a memorable wine that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

It’s a perfect choice to drink on its own in good company, but it also works wonderfully with red meats to complement the rich taste.

Recommended Reading: Learn all about Amarone wine in this guide.

A Wine Fit For A Princess

As you might expect for a wine that’s popular with a princess, The Tig isn’t going to be the most affordable choice. In fact, if you’re lucky enough to spot a bottle of this variety on your local supermarket shelves you’ll have to make sure you have around $100 spare to cover the costs – even more depending on its vintage.

However, it’s definitely well worth the investment if you have a special occasion coming up for which you need a fine wine with the Royal seal of approval. Or perhaps you just want to see what all the fuss is about with this wine that inspired a lifestyle blog!

Whatever the reasons, if your budget can stretch to it, you should definitely give this delightful Tuscan red a try. You really will find it a taste sensation!

About the Author Tim Edison

Tim started Wine Turtle way back in 2015.
These days he contributes to Wine Turtle (and other renowned wine publications) while continuing his wine education.
Tim's wine of the month is the Coates & Seely Reserve Brut NV (from Hampshire, England).

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  1. It’s $129.00 at Walmart and it’s $119.00 at Target. Both stores sold out online. Google it some bottles are $500.00 and up.

    I can’t drink red wine because it’s high in sulfa. So I have to pass on “The TIG”.

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