Classic Italian Food And Wine Pairings – Calabria Dishes And Red Wine

Calabria forms the toe of the Italian boot. It is located in the southwest corner of Italy, with 500 miles of coastline on the Ionian, Mediterranean, and Tyrrhenian Seas. This region has belonged to many,¬† many other countries over the years, leading to quite a variety of local specialties. When you get to taste the delicious local food you would never¬† think that Calabria’s soil tends to be poor.

Alici a Beccafico (Anchovies Beccafico style) is considered a main dish, but some prefer it as an appetizer. Other people avoid anchovies altogether; I think they are missing out on many tasty, albeit salty, dishes. You start preparing this dish by gutting the anchovies and soaking them in a dry white wine. Then you stuff them with a combination of stale, crust less bread garlic, grated Pecorino cheese, and some spices. Then you fry them. Suggested wine pairings include Sangiovese-based wines such as Chianti DOCG from Tuscany.

Calabria is known for great vegetables. Make sure to try Melanzane Fritte con Mozzarella e Olive (Fried Eggplants with Mozzarella and Olives). Besides the title ingredients this recipe calls for tomatoes, onions, herbs, and spices. As always, salt the eggplant to remove the bitter juices. Even if you are not a vegetarian you’ll enjoy this dish with an Italian Pinot Nero or one of the many Barbera DOC wines from Piedmont.

Costolette d’Agnello alla Calabrese (Lamb chops Calabrian Style) is easy to make and simply delicious. Besides the chops you’ll need ripe tomatoes, an onion, green olives, sweet peppers, olive oil, and some spices. Once you’ve prepared the veggies, this recipe is fairly quick. Suggested wine pairings include Chianti DOCG, Chianti Classico DOCG, or Brunello di Montalcino DOCG from Tuscany, and Barolo DOCG from Piedmont.

Cinghiale all’Aspromonte (Wild Boar Aspromonte style) is a local specialty. Hang the boar saddle, remove the rind, finely chopped bay leaves, oil, salt, and pepper and cook on a spit meat, basting it with the juices until done. Somehow, I don’t think making this delicious dish is as simple as it sounds. Enjoy this dish with a Vino Nobile di Montalcino DOCG, a Cabernet Sauvignon based Super Tuscan from Tuscany, a Barbaresco DOCG, or Barolo DOCG from Piedmont.

Capretto Farcito (Stuffed Spring Kid) is an unusual but delicious local specialty that is often served at Easter. The meat is boned and then stuffed with pasta and the giblets and baked. Enjoy this dish with an Aglianico del Vulture DOC from the neighboring region of Basilicata, a Taurasi DOCG from Campania, or a Torgiano Rosso Riserva DOCG from Umbria.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.