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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry for the wine/food pairing 101 question, but I've been searching the web and reading sources and still don't have the answer. :( We often make linguine with garlic and oil and a little crushed red pepper (LOTS of garlic :D ) and mix in some lightly caramelized onions and sauteed broccoli. We prefer red wine, but nothing ever really matches. And all I can figure out from what I've read is that we would want something with low tannins. Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for the recommendations! As it turned out, David had already gone to the wine shop before I'd had a chance to read your posts. A fellow there had him buy a Rosso di Montalcino 2001. It really did match quite well (even with a little too much salt accidentally added to the dish :p ). I couldn't find the info on-line that I wanted, but the wine either is made from Sangiovese grapes or a clone of them. So how did your dinner go and what did you drink miahoyhoy?
CC, I plan to buy a Barbera this weekend so we can try that one with the dish too (we do tend to fall back on it fairly often).
AND I am vowing to start keeping a food/wine pairing journal. :D Way, way too many times, we hit on a great combo and then forget what we drank or what we drank it with! And those memory cells are pouring out of our brains more quickly every day :eek: .

The wine guy said that the dish needed a high-acid wine. Could you guys explain why? I thought broccoli and maybe even the garlic were considered more bitter tastes. And I associate tomato sauces with acid.
 

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Emily,

A little history about Montalcino wines.

The big star “Brunella” and its baby cousin “Rosso”


The designation for Brunella first appeared at the end of the 14th century in documents from Montalcino, but it is not clear what type of wines they were.

At that time there was no evidence of a red being based of Sangiovese, Which was stilled called “Vermiglio” Brunella in its present form only dates back to end of the 19th century.

To really understand Brunella’s you need to study about Ferruccio Biondi-Santi.
Only the wines from Biondi Santi Il Greppo estate used the Brunella name (this is true even up to the end of WW2)

These wines didn’t really begin to catch on until the late 50s and 60s. In 1970 Brunella was only plated to just over 160 acres. In 1980 Brunella was awarded the DOCG.

The simpler second class COC Rosso was allowed to be made from Brunella grapes, using fruit taken from younger and cooler locations. The interest in Rosso over the past few years is more then triple of Brunella because of price and perceived quality.

Almost half of the wines are now bottled as Rosso and sold much earlier then Brunella’s.

I should note however that 30 years ago there were about 140 acres planted to Brunella’s up to over 3000 today.

It’s sad to say that the Biondi Santi Brunellas I’ve had in the past 5 years or so are not nearly as concentrated as when I first drank them over 25 years ago, the barrels are to old and the re stocking of the vineyards pales to the competition who’s wine are far more intense. Wines from producers like Avignonesi, Salicutti and Lisini are the ones I buy these days (on occasion)

Emily, as far as the acid in the wine, some matches require same on same, while others need opposite flavor profiles. The addiction of fine grated Parmesan for example will add just the right amount of fat to balance the broccoli and garlic slit bitterness and brings out the fruit in a Rosso or Barbara
 

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Cape Chef, you showed once again that you are a teacher at heart! Thank you for the background information.

Ann
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you SO much CC! This and the linked string are indeed very helpful. :D
I think what I have most trouble with are dishes with flavors that pull in different directions like the pasta one above and a kind of chicken stew recipe I got from Jacques Pepin that calls for chicken (of course :p ) whole shallots and garlics, mushrooms, onion, white wine, and YAMS. And, to make it all more difficult, we prefer red wines (after about a half a glass, whites seem to give me headaches :confused: ). I would love it if someone designed some sort of mix and match site where you could tick off each major flavor element in a dish and then click on a "calculate" button and then the perfect wine choices pop up. Then again, there's something rather wonderful about talking to a human being like CC who uses his experience and palate to make suggestions. Thank you again!

By the way, we drank a Langhe Nebbiolo 2000 with the chicken dish. It was fine, but to my taste, maybe a touch astringent. :cool: :rolleyes:
 

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To tell you the truth I would not recommend a sangiovese, much less a wine from Montalcino with this dish. While some fresh acids will enhance the dish I don't think the tannins will handle the broccoli. I would have suggested a white wine - something like a Mastroberadino or Montesole Fiano or Greco di Tufo.

...by the way it's Brunello di Montalcino not Brunella. ;)

If you would like more information on Montalcino click here for an article I recently wrote.
 

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Whites often contain higher levels of sulfur than red wines and this is usually the cause of your headaches. If you can't drink whites look for some light reds with low tannins like Beaujolais, some pinot noir (pinot nero from Italy) to match with dishes that would normally call for a white wines. As you mention about the nebbiolo, wines with tannins can be astringent and it is this astringency that is difficult to match with some dishes - broccoli for example.
 

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Craig,

Your right of course, I would also recommend whites from Campania. Seeing that it's nestled between the Tyrrhenian sea and the mountains it doesn't get very hot so the climate is conducive to the whites like the Greco you mentioned, it's citrus and almond flavors would work beautifully with the dish in question.

Oh, and thanks for the spelling correction :p
 

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I would choose a white for the pasta dish but no matter....Barbera.Brunello,Salice Salentino, .....If you need Italian wine info an old buddy of mine has a shop in NYC & is one of the most knowledgable Italian wine guys in the world. He has a website but Im at work right now & dont have the name...but contact me & I can email you the link.. He is a great cook & would be pleased to make varietal matches to help you.
 
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