Pour the Sangiovese

November 28th, 2010 by Jeff

Wines featured in today’s show:

  • Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva 2006 (~$25)
  • Monte Volpe Sangiovese 2006 (~$16)

Show synopsis and recommended food pairings from The Som:

Sangiovese: one of the worlds greatest grapes that most people don’t know about.  Why?  Because the most famous examples of it say Chianti, not Sangiovese, on the label.  It’s a region located in central Tuscany, which is located just north of central Italy.  When it comes to almost fool-proof food wines, you can count on Pinot Noir and Sangiovese.  With both of them you get the acidity combined with cherry & cranberry notes, but Sangiovese adds that dusty tannin note that plays so well against grilled red meat.

By Italian wine law, winemakers are allowed to make a 100% Sangiovese Chianti Classico, but that was not always the case.   Currently wine makers may compose their blend with 75-100% Sangiovese, up to 10% Canaiolo, up to 15% other red grapes including Cab & Merlot, and even up to 6% of the local white grapes.  Sometimes the back label will inform you of the blend but often this is not the case.

What to enjoy with a nice Chianti? (insert fava bean line here) Most things in a tomato based red sauce work wonderfully,  but if one were to add short ribs to that tomato base and braise it low and slow like the great Anne Burrell suggests in this recipe, you have a melt-in-your-mouth meat course that will easily become the family favorite.  If that happens,  you’ll probably need a consistent supply of one of the worlds greatest wines in your basement in which to pair it.

Bon appetit!

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