Traditional Italian Food And Wine Pairings – White Wine And Emilia-Romagna Dishes

The Emilia-Romagna region reaches out from the Ligurian border in northeastern Italy to the Adriatic Sea. This region tends to be quite prosperous. It is known as the gourmet capital of Italy. On the other hand, it is really not known for its wine. Two of its biggest stars are a cheese, Parmigiano Regianno, and a ham, Prosciutto di Parma. Parmesan cheese as it’s known in English, already cited by the famous Italian author of the Fourteenth Century, Giovanni Boccaccio. Undoubtedly the region’s biggest dud is a lunch meat named for its administrative center, Bologna.

One great starter is Prosciutto con Melone (Ham with Melon), especially if based on real Parma ham. You might want to enjoy this dish with a sparkling Prosecco DOC from the neighboring region of Veneto, or with a Riesling, Pinot Grigio, or Gewurtztraminer, all Italian, of course. Red wine pairings are also available.

One excellent way to showcase the region’s outstanding cheese is Asparagi alla Parmigiana (Asparagus with Parmesan Cheese), which is traditionally served with lots of melted butter. The recommended wine pairings include Riesling, Pinot Grigio, or Sauvignon Blanc, once again from Italy.

Vegetarians and others will relish Frizon con Salsiccia (Vegetable Saute) for which the recommended wine is the local Albana di Romagna DOCG. You can see for yourself if this wine merits its top of the line designation, the only such wine in this gourmet region. If you are not a vegetarian you can add sausages to this dish but then the wine pairing will depend on the specific sausage. And you will probably want to go red, must I say Italian red?.

Do you like chicken? Try some Pollo Parmigiana (Chicken Parmesan). They say that there are as many recipes as cooks in Emilia-Romagna but you won’t go wrong with an Italian Chardonnay.

Many people prefer capon to plain old chicken. An excellent local specialty is Cappone Ripeno (Roast Capon) whose stuffing includes veal, ham, and Marsala wine. You’ll enjoy it with an Italian Riesling.

Let’s not forget dessert. Try Ciambella Bolognese (Almond Cake) traditionally made in a mold. Enjoy this with a sweet wine such as Malvasia di Cagliari DOC from Sardinia, Vino Santo del Chianti DOC, or Vino Santo del Chianti Classico DOC from Tuscany. Don’t get confused by the word Chianti, these wines are all made from white grapes as you may guess from their golden color.

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