Friday, 11 November 2016

Sangiovese and food

Cottage Vineyards has organised a masterclass on variations of Sangiovese and Tuscany’s forgotten wine recently. The variations of Sangiovese ranged from the Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino to Super Tuscan (Sangiovese blended with international varieties). These wines were presented by four passionate winemakers/owners from Tenuta Cantagallo e Le Farnete, Molino di Sant’Antimo, and Fattoria di Petroio. The other forgotten varieties were Ciliegiolo and Pugnitello, both red wines, from Simona Ceccherini Winery.

The tasting was a bit chaotic as there were too many different glasses in too confined space leaving no space for taking notes; but at the same time lively because the speakers, especially Dario Pierzaauoli from  Tenuta Cantagallo e Le Farnete who also took on the role of moderator, were entertaining.

Each speaker took turn to present his/her wine, with first hand story from his/her experience. Ada Leung, Sales & Marketing Director of Cottage Vineyards, brilliantly wrapped up each presentation with suggested food, both western and Asian, to pair with the wine. Cottage Vineyards is known for pairing Chinese cuisines with wine (the most  popular being Jura Vin Jaune with Hairy Crab) so it was natural for Ada to suggest some food pairing ideas to the guests, who were mostly from the F&B industry, to help differentiate the different Sangiovese variations. Ada also gave each guest a written summary of the wines’ characteristics, food matching guide and examples of both western a
nd Asian cuisines to pair.

Of course these wines are all different but it could be challenging for wine consumers to remember the nuances. I would like to draw a simple conclusion that Sangiovese, with its high acidity, is food-friendly. We just need to determine the palate weight of the wine and choose food that have similar weight. For example, a light version Chianti without wood could match with antipasti and fish dishes; while a more meaty Super Tuscan would pair well with roasted meat.

What I would also like to mention is the two other varieties. Both Ciliegiolo and Pugnitello are local varieties from Maremma where Simona Ceccherini Winery is located. Ciliegiolo with its lively acidity is best with simple tomato based dishes while the heavier weight Pugnitello would be perfect with slow cooked meat. Italy has 1,000 native varieties, we need every Simona to preserve them.

All these wines are available from Cottage Vineyards.

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