We’re having a bit of an Italian theme this week, what with the wonderful selection of Italian fine wines in our fixed-priced section of the website, so we thought we’d ask a real expert about the traditional dishes that get her taste buds tingling. Laura, iDealwine’s resident Italian, is here to give you 10 of her favourite food and wine pairing ideas which will no doubt make your mouth water as you read them.
Originally from Sardinia, Laura spent her whole childhood on the island before moving to France for her studies. Specialising in international trade and wine, she possesses a wealth of knowledge about wine from her home country (as well as from the rest of the world). Who better to question about the delicacies she grew up savouring…along with the best wines to complement her favourite dishes!
Let’s dive into this magnificent selection.
1- Barolo DOCG Serradenari by Giulia Negri & truffle-stuffed quails
If you are yet to taste this talented winemaker’s wines, you really should hunt them down. One of Laura’s favourites is Serradenari because it’s delicate structure and finesse is reminiscent of the greatest Burgundian Pinot Noirs. The elegant, silky wine offers complex notes of red fruits, eucalyptus and laurel. What is more, it can either be enjoyed now or left in the cellar for several years. Now onto the pairing! Laura recommends choosing a delicate meat as well as dishes with lots of flavour such as truffle-stuffed quails for the foodies reading this blog.
See all wines by Giulia Negri
2- Langhe Rosso DOC from Roagna & braised red meats
Roagna, is a Piedmont icon known for producing wines with great finesse. Most of the cuvées are made from grapes from single plots that reflect the individualities of their terroirs. Laura loves the Langhe Rosso DOC cuvée which is produced from vines planted on the Pajé and Pira hills, two historical places in the Barbaresco and Barolo appellations. The nose of this 100% Nebbiolo is dominated by notes of black fruits, blueberries and blackberries as well as delicate undergrowth aromas. It is a wine that will surprise you as it brings together powerful tannins and an aromatic delicacy that is rarely seen. It will pair perfectly with braised red meat (beef for example) or even delicately stewed meats.
See all wines by Roagna
3- Valtellina Superiore DOCG Pettirosso by AR.PE.PE & tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms
Ar.Pe.Pe. is one of our newest partner domains. Situated in Valtellina, a region north of Bergamo and Milan, close to the Alps, this family-run winery produces excellent Nebbiolos which are without a doubt among the best in the region. Their Rosso di Valtellina is delicious but the Pettirosso cuvée has a special place in Laura’s heart. It’s a magnificent example of a Lombardian Nebbiolo. The grapes are harvested by hand, yields are limited, and fermentation is spontaneously started by natural yeasts. The wine is first aged in 50 hectolitre barrels before maturing in its bottles. The nose contains beautiful red and black fruit notes, dried flowers and hints of humus, On the palate, it is harmonious juicy and both mineral and structured. To appreciate it fully, we recommend pairing this wine with game and stewed red meats. And Laura’s suggestion is tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms.
See all wines by AR.PE.PE
4- Soave DOC Castelcerino by Filippi & culurgiones (Sardinian stuffed pasta)
To continue on our tour of Italy, Laura takes us to Veneto where her favourite wines are produced. “If you have never tasted this region’s white wines, the Castelcerino cuvée produced by Filippi in the Soave DOC is a great place to start,” says Laura. Crafted from Garganega grapes which are grown at 300 to 400 metres above sea level on the volcanic foothills of the Alps, this pale-yellow wine will charm you with its fresh and quaffable style as well as its beautiful floral aromas and notes of yellow fruits and nuts. It has a wonderful length and a finish marked by a beautiful minerality. And what dish would you pair with this wine? “Cannelloni Ricotta Spinaci e Grana Lodigiano, (ricotta, spinach and parmesan cannelloni for those of us who have yet to master the Italian language) or culurgiones ogliastrini, a dish typical of my home region, a type of ravioli made from potato and mint,” advises Laura.
See all wines by Cantina Filippi
5- Predappio DOC Romagna Sangiovese from Chiara Condello & tagliatelle with ragu
Chiara Condello is a talented young winemaker who grew up in the wine world. After working hard at the family business, she decided to go out on her own and bought some land in Fiumana di Predappio at the heart of the Predappio DOC. Only one grape variety grows here – Sangiovese which is known for its pure, direct wines. Laura’s favourite is Sangiovese Predappio DOC which she often pairs with a national dish, ragu tagliatelle or even Tortellini di Carne with a good ragu sauce.
See all wines by Chiara Condelloi
6- Toscana IGT Mazzapink from Tenuta di Valgiano & lasagne
This winery’s wines are some of the best from DOC Colline Lucchesi. Their iconic Tenuta di Valgiano is crafted from a blend of Sangiovese, Syrah and Merlot. An amazingly refined wine! But Laura has a pairing idea for their most recent release – Mazzapink. It’s a wine with intense strawberry and raspberry flavours and the juicy palate is framed by well-presented tannins.
And the pairing? Why, it’s lasagne! Mazzapink will also pair well with delicatessen meats, stuffed pastas, and delicate meats.
See all wines from Tenuta di Valgiano.
7- Rosso di Montalcino DOC by Biondi Santi & flavourful hard cheese
A Tuscan wine with the finesse of those from Burgundy, Rosso di Montalcino by Biondi Santi is solely made up of Sangiovese and aged for a year in oak barrels. It possesses an intense aromatic profile, and its deep and persistent palate makes it perfect for pairing with rich, flavourful dishes. It would go really well with mature or flavourful hard cheeses.
See all wines by Biondi Santi
8- Toscana IGT Testamatta by Bibi Graetz & fiorentina steak
“I tried this famous producer’s wines not too long ago and I can confirm what they say about them. The wines are truly elegant. It’s difficult to pick a favourite cuvée but I think it might be the red Testamatta which I would pair with a good fiorentina steak – a classic pairing, I know. I also have to give a special shout out to the Colore and Testamatta cuvées which are made from Asonica, a local variety that is not very common.”
See all wines by Bibi Graetz
9- Toscana IGT Volpaiole Libero from Fuori Mondo & fine delicatessen meats
Fuori Mondo is a brilliant discovery! This Tuscan winery, located above Campiglia Maritima opposite the island of Elba, stands out with its nuances. It vinifies its wines using almost natural methods with very little sulphur. They are then aged in temperature-controlled casks which allows the wineries to adapt the production to each vintage. The winemaker’s goal is to unite structure, finesse and freshness in each of the cuvées. “My favourite has to be Libero, which is a wine made from Ciliegiolo, a local variety that is popular in the region.” It would go really well with delicatessen meats as well as red meats.
See all wines by Fuori Mondo
10- Terre Siciliane IGT FL by Arianna Occhipinti & stuffed artichokes
One of Laura’s favourite wine is FL (Fossa di Lupo) from the appellation of Terre Siciliane IGT. It’s a flavourful, fruity wine that is both elegant and structured. It is perfect for dishes with sauces and veal stew, but it would also go very well with fine delicatessen meats and stuffed artichokes.
See all wines by Arianna Occhipinti
Thank you to Laura for these wonderful suggestions and this tour around Italy – buon appetito!
Browse all Italian wines on the website