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"Italian Food" is too general. If you mean tomato based dishes, than less complex, ample acidic wines work best. I do not pair Nebbiolo, including Barolo with red sauce dishes, including veal parm etc... A California Sangiovese is OK, but you'll probably be jones-ing for a Chianti then.

Veal Marsala, Osso Bucco, or other brown sauce meat dishes open the door up to a lot more: Brunello, Barolo, even Rhones.

You wine pair to the sauce with Italian food, more than what's underneath it (pasta or meat)

Having said all that, I have probably had almost every varietal of red wine with my italian food (non fish I mean) in my life, and rarely complained. Smile
I suppose I'm talking about tomato-based dishes, but thanks for the input Hunter.

Spo- I'm far from an expert, but my understanding is that Grenache is a widely planted grape that is usually blended with other grapes. It can be grown anywhere but this particular wine is from Australia. I believe it is mostly Grenache, with a small blend of Cabernet Franc.

I've definitely had Brunello (I was in Tuscany last October and tasted it at the wineries and enotecas in Montalcino) and it is amazing stuff. I have several bottles that I brought back but I'm saving them for a hearty steak. Plus, I might let my 2000 vintage age another year or two.
And then there's always the Veneto wines, Amarone and Valpolicella or the lesser Piedmonts like Barbera and Dolcetto. All can be good with tomato based sauces. I tend to match the Barolos to cream sauces and buttery dishes or beef/veal like Osso Bucco. Barolo is one of those wines that is remarkable with just about anything (simple risotto or butter and noodles even) but I think too complex for the punch that tomato based dishes offer.

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