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

Emilia-Romagna stretches from the Ligurian border in northeastern Italy to the Adriatic Sea. It’s quite prosperous and is known as the gourmet capital of Italy. On the other hand, it’s not known for wine. Bologna is the region’s administrative center and home to many gourmet specialties. I cannot suggest any wine to accompany the sausage that carries its name.

Emilia-Romagna is famous for balsamic vinegar, which is said to be the best vinegar in the world. Why not try it with Fegato Grasso al Balsamico (Foie Gras with Balsamic Sauce) based on goose or duck livers? The sauce will be even better if you add saba, a reduction of cooked grapes. Pair this delicacy with an Italian Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. If cost is no object, you should try a Super Tuscan.

For starters or as a light main dish, enjoy a Erbazzone or Scarpazzone (Savory Pie with Swiss Chard). It contains Italian bacon (pancetta) or lard, eggs, some Parmesan cheese, and a few other ingredients. Suggested wine pairings include the local Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro (DOC), a fizzy red or rose wine that’s made dry or sweet. I’d go for the dry. If this wine is not available, you might try its cousins, Lambrusco di Sorbara DOC or Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce DOC.

You have not tasted lasagna until you try Bologna’s Lasagne Verdi (Green Lasagna) that gets its color from the spinach. It’s made with bechamel sauce. Enjoy with a Chianti DOCG or Chianti Classico DOCG from neighboring Tuscany or a Montepulciano d”Abruzzo from Abruzzo.

Adventurous souls may enjoy Zampone di Capodanno (Stuffed Pig’s Trotters) with beans, lentils, spinach, and other goodies. By the way, the classic stuffing is a spiced mixture of pork including meat, some pigskin, and part of the cheeks. Your butcher just may carry these trotters; I bet that you never asked. This is a dish to enjoy with Lambrusco wine listed above. Once again, I really recommend the dry varieties.

Try the Proscuitto d’Oca (Smoked Goose), originally an Italian Jewish specialty from Ferrara, with an Italian Pinot Nero.

Whether or not you have tried the foie gras, you should try another excellent, quite different, liver and vinegar dish: Fegato di Vitello all’ Aceto Balsamico (Calf’s Liver with Balsamic Vinegar). A local wine pairing is with the Sangiovese di Romagna DOC Riserva Superiore. Other great suggestions include Barbaresco DOCG or Barolo DOCG from Piedmont and Brunello di Montalcino DOCG and Chianti Classico DOCG from neighboring Tuscany. Or you might want to finish the Super Tuscan that you opened for the foie gras.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.