I'm planning a dinner with close friends (10 people in total) to share some nice Brunellos I have (81, 88, 91 and recent ones like 99 and 01).

any advice on what should be on the menu?
Original Post
Depending on the style of the wines, I'd be a little cautious with the tangy pasta Escape suggests. It could be really good with some styles perhaps, but I'd be concerned that briny kalamatas, tangy sundried tomato, and sharp feta could make a softer, modern style seem thin, or exacerbate the acidity of some of the leaner, more old school versions.

When it comes to older wines and unknown wines, I tend to err on the side of savory subtlety with the foods.

A no brainer would be simple roasted meats, like pork loin, beef ribs, or veal shoulder roast. Just use some black pepper, rosemary, and salt, maybe a mushroom sautee on the side alongside some buttery, soft polenta. I'm willing to bet, this would work with any style, any vintage.
Actually, while both recipes are good, I would prefer Escape's recipe as it includes a little more character with old brunellos. If the feta is made from cow's milk, then it can be sharp but not if it is made from goat's milk(as it should be made.)

Furthermore, Brunellos are Italian wines made to go with Italian foods. Black olives and sun-dried tomatos are much more Italian than Chaads food suggestions, which even though they are appropriate, can be equally served with most red wines.
quote:
Originally posted by GPCi:
I'm planning a dinner with close friends (10 people in total) to share some nice Brunellos I have (81, 88, 91 and recent ones like 99 and 01).

any advice on what should be on the menu?


A nice spread of Rolaids, Tums and Pepcid complete Big Grin
quote:
Longboarder
Member
Posted Jul 25, 2007 09:54 PM Hide Post
Cinghaile (wild boar) stew, grilled lamb, steaks, hearty porcini mushrooms dishes like risotto or ravioli, pinci pasta with some type of meat sauce (i.e. bolognese) and stuffed quail. Any of these dishes will make your brunelli sing.

Now that would be nice with Brunello. Chad's suggestion is a good runner-up on my ballot also.
GPCi,
I don't have experience with really old BdM's but for newer one's I'm in full agrreement with Chaad.

Here's a link to a recipe I've prepared a few times (with Poggio Antico BdM 1999 and 2001).
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/107649

It's prosciutto stuffed pork with mushrooms. Always done the mushrooms with polenta. The flavours ask for each other.
You follow LCBO releases so I'm guessing you've got access to Ace bakery baguettes. Use those for the bread crumbs (crust in). Amazing.

Good luck
quote:
Originally posted by mimik:
Black olives and sun-dried tomatos are much more Italian than Chaads food suggestions...

That's a pretty absurd assertion. I can't even imagine where one would begin to evaluate relative Italian-ness of black olives and tomatoes over mushrooms, polenta, and roasted meats, but, if we were to try, I'm willing to bet that domesticated animals and fire (which equal, btw, roast) predate tomatoes on the Italian peninsula by a order of magnitude of millenia, that porcini, cremini, and portobello are far more ubiquitous to all regional Italian cuisine than pomodori secchi, and that, if you check your map, you'll find the Veneto region, home of polenta, is actually in Italy, whereas the Kalamata black olive derives its name and origin from Greece. Do I even need to mention Feta??

So, whereas you are entitled to express your preference for Kalamata and sundried tomato pasta with Feta as a marvelous pairing with Brunello di Montalcino (which I concede it might be), you sound ferociously silly trying to defend your preference on the grounds it is more Italian.

I mean, really....
quote:
Originally posted by chaad:
quote:
Originally posted by mimik:
Black olives and sun-dried tomatos are much more Italian than Chaads food suggestions...

That's a pretty absurd assertion. I can't even imagine where one would begin to evaluate relative Italian-ness of black olives and tomatoes over mushrooms, polenta, and roasted meats, but, if we were to try, I'm willing to bet that domesticated animals and fire (which equal, btw, roast) predate tomatoes on the Italian peninsula by a order of magnitude of millenia, that porcini, cremini, and portobello are far more ubiquitous to all regional Italian cuisine than pomodori secchi, and that, if you check your map, you'll find the Veneto region, home of polenta, is actually in Italy, whereas the Kalamata black olive derives its name and origin from Greece. Do I even need to mention Feta??

So, whereas you are entitled to express your preference for Kalamata and sundried tomato pasta with Feta as a marvelous pairing with Brunello di Montalcino (which I concede it might be), you sound ferociously silly trying to defend your preference on the grounds it is more Italian.

I mean, really....


YOU are an absurd assertion. That and the fact that it is quite obvious you cannot read. I deliberately avoided Kalamata olives and replaced them with black olives in my post. These foods are more traditionally eaten in Italy and most of the Mediterranean basin. My main point being that the local cuisine suits the local wines better than " simple roasted meats, like pork loin, beef ribs, or veal shoulder roast" which is very generic and any red wine would match up with these wines. Fact is, the food you quoted probably matches other red wines such as Syrah or blends like Bordeaux and CDP better than older brunellos.

If you drink your aged bordeaux with Big Macs or KFC, then knock yourself out but don't parade around thinking this is a match made in heaven.

Oh and if you need proof, try this link. Read carefully what they say about Rice and Pasta(tomatoes and pesto) and the section on Matching by Provenance. Italian wine pairings

Oh and beware of them Mushrooms!

I mean, really.... Eek
mimik,

Seriously, man, I don't know what to say to you. If you really think a Greek cheese and sundried tomatoes are more more local to Montalcino than roasted meats and mushrooms, you've got a real problem.

I tried out your link, but I think this link to the Italian Trade Commission's "Italianmade" website, which lists wine and regional cuisine, is actually a credible source, rather than some unvetted e-absurdity ("avoid mushrooms with anything but moscato and "San Gimignano") you reference: http://www.italianmade.com/regions/cuisine9.cfm
quote:
Originally posted by mona lisa vito:
pici with lamb ragu, or cacio e pepe (pici with grated pecorino and black pepper)... mmm...


MLV - You say pici, I say pinci. You say tow-may-toe, I say toe-ma-toe. Would love to open another BdM with you and Jcock with both these dishes. Soon, I hope.
quote:
Originally posted by chaad:
mimik,

Seriously, man, I don't know what to say to you. If you really think a Greek cheese and sundried tomatoes are more more local to Montalcino than roasted meats and mushrooms, you've got a real problem.

I tried out your link, but I think this link to the Italian Trade Commission's "Italianmade" website, which lists wine and regional cuisine, is actually a credible source, rather than some unvetted e-absurdity ("avoid mushrooms with anything but moscato and "San Gimignano") you reference: http://www.italianmade.com/regions/cuisine9.cfm


You're stuck on the Feta cheese, my friend. All I am saying is that local cuisine suits local wines generally better than other kinds of foods. Of course, Feta is not Italian or Kalamata olives but black olives are and so is pasta.
quote:
Originally posted by GPCi:
I'm planning a dinner with close friends (10 people in total) to share some nice Brunellos I have (81, 88, 91 and recent ones like 99 and 01).

any advice on what should be on the menu?


GPCI,

I can't speak for your older Brunello, as I've never had one more than 12 years old, but I've always loved a simple side of Parmesan Reggiano, with some good crusty bread and a good olive oil to help cut the tannins on your 99s and 01s. Once the EVOO and cheese are in place on the table, whatever else you want to serve (within reason) will be fine. It's not rocket science.
quote:
Originally posted by chaad:
I tried out your link, but I think this link to the Italian Trade Commission's "Italianmade" website, which lists wine and regional cuisine, is actually a credible source, rather than some unvetted e-absurdity ("avoid mushrooms with anything but moscato and "San Gimignano") you reference: http://www.italianmade.com/regions/cuisine9.cfm


Yeah, what would the The Italian Culinary Institute of America know about Italian food.

Webiste source: "Italian Culinary Institute (ICI) is a unique institution dedicated to the education and promotion of Italian cuisine and culture in the United States. The Institute comprises two epicurean magazines, five national gastronomic clubs, a renowned culinary center in New York City, a television show, and much more."
quote:
Originally posted by mimik:
You're stuck on the Feta cheese, my friend. All I am saying is that local cuisine suits local wines generally better than other kinds of foods. Of course, Feta is not Italian or Kalamata olives but black olives are and so is pasta.

mimik,

You need to realize that roasted meats are as much a part of Montalcino cuisine as pasta is. Have you ever heard of Chianina? It's one of the worlds oldest breeds (maybe the oldest)of domesticated cattle, and it is from this very region. The Chianina are a prized element of Tuscan cuisine, just as the cinghiale (or wild boar) is. Both are often stewed, grilled, and roasted, often with local mushrooms such as wild cremini.
quote:
Originally posted by chaad:
this link to the Italian Trade Commission's "Italianmade" website[/URL]

Chaad- THANKS!! That link you provided resulted in making me REALLY hungry... and thirsty, for a great BdM!
I'm TRYING to let them sleep Razz Big Grin
I like Longboarder and chaad's suggestions.

In the past, here are some of my favourites for serving with Brunello:

Risotto with duck confit and black truffles
Risotto with duck confit and chanterelles
Risotto with porcini

Pappardalle with wild boar ragu (and in true ragu form, it has very little tomato in it)

Grilled veal chop with roasted potatoes and sauteed rapini

Roasted veal tenderloin with similar sides to the above.

Instead of roasted potatoes, another fantastic side is braised cannellini beans with garlic and sage. Puree some of the beans with a little of the cooking liquid, then drain the rest and add to the puree. This would also be a perfect side to Longboarder's recommendation of spezzatino di cinghiale (and I'm sure he'll know exactly what restaurant in Montalcino I'm pulling this from Razz Big Grin)

Note the common thread of earthy, rustic tones for each ingredient. This will meld perfectly with the fantastic sottobosco aspect of Brunello and allow the beautiful fruit to express itself.
quote:
Originally posted by mimik:
If the feta is made from cow's milk, then it can be sharp but not if it is made from goat's milk(as it should be made.)


Wot?? Confused Feta should be made from sheep's milk cheese, but it still wouldn't be my first choice with Brunello.

Futronic's list is good, especially the pasta with braised wild boar ragu. I would also add, but he'll object, "white" osso buco.
Osso Buco would be perfect. I made it with a Gremolata topping last month and friends are still commenting on it. I made it with BdM and served it with the same. Your sides could be Soft Polenta or Garlic chive mashed potatoes.

Tyler Florence recipe on Food Network. If you can't find it I'd be happy to send it to you.
Chaad and futronic's dishes would be my choice. Tuscany is famous for grilled and roasted meats and especially pairing their better wines with such meats.

Feta, not so much.

BTW - That Italian Cul. Inst. website supports chaad's picks in that every pairing they recommend for BdM is a meat dish.
quote:
Originally posted by futronic:
This would also be a perfect side to Longboarder's recommendation of spezzatino di cinghiale (and I'm sure he'll know exactly what restaurant in Montalcino I'm pulling this from Razz Big Grin)


Fut - They were closed the day I stopped by earlier in July. A real bummer.
Chaad's suggestions are bang on.

quote:
Originally posted by futronic:
Grilled veal chop with roasted potatoes and sauteed rapini...


The veal and roasted potatoes would work. The cime di rape (rapini is what mangia-cakes call it Wink) wouldn't. It's too bitter and would give the brunello a metallic taste. Mushrooms are a safer bet.

Have a good dinner, GPCi.
quote:
Originally posted by mimik:
All I am saying is that local cuisine suits local wines generally better than other kinds of foods.
Yes, and the local cuisine of Tuscany is lots of grilled and braised meats. Italian cuisine is very regional. Sure with modern times different foods have spread thoughout the country, but don't confuse Italian-American food with the REAL thing.
quote:
Originally posted by futronic:
Doh. You had eaten there during your previous trip, no?

Regardless, you must go next time you're there (which will probably be in a couple weeks, no? Razz)


September 13-16 for the harvest. I will think about you when I eat the spezzatino di cinghiale at La Crocina. Big Grin

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