Regional Italian Food And Wine Pairings – Red Wine And Latium Dishes

Don’t be surprised if the word Latium doesn’t ring a bell. This region, also known as Lazio, is situated right in the center of Italy and its capital is Rome, the Eternal City. As the Italian writer Silvio Negro said, “Roma, non basta una vita,” Rome, a lifetime is not enough. Just so you don’t get the wrong idea, he wasn’t talking about the wine. Once upon a time Rome was home to a great wine, Falernian, a sweet white wine that poets praised. I think you’ll enjoy the Latium specialties and their wine pairings described below. You may even serve them at a toga party.

Carne alla Pizzaiola (Beef Pizzaiola) is based on round steak with fresh tomatoes, oregano, olive oil, garlic, and chopped parsley. Some cooks add chopped olives and anchovies. Among the suggested wine pairings are Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG from Sicily, Rosso Piceno DOC from The Marches, and Sangiovese di Romagna DOC from Emila-Romagna.

Coda all Vaccinara (Stewed Oxtail with Celery) calls for a cup of red wine to go with two pounds of oxtail. Many people like to go with a white wine to keep the sauce from being too dark. You may want to parboil the celery for that same reason. In any case, don’t use a “cooking wine”. In fact, you should never ever cook with a wine that you won’t drink. Some people suggest Barolo DOCG from Piedmont. I’d look for a Cesane del Piglio DOCG, which was awarded this sometimes prestigious designation in 2008. It is the first Latium DOCG. If you don’t want to pay for the letter G (as in guaranteed) try a Cesane di Affile DOC or a Cesane di Olevano Romano DOC.

Porchetta (Roast Suckling Pig) is a great party dish, but it’s hard to prepare and takes a long time to cook. Potatoes and onions cooked in the drippings are simply delicious. Recommended wine pairings include Abruzzi Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG, Chianti Classico DOCG, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG. Or you can go local with the Cesane del Piglio DOCG.

Another great Latium dish is Saltimbocca alla Romana (Veal and Ham Rolls), which stars veal scallops, sliced prosciutto, and white wine. Saltimbocca is not as hard to make as the suckling pig, but its preparation is somewhat tricky. Suggested wine pairings include Cesane del Piglio DOCG, the Piedmont Barolo DOCG, or a Tuscan Brunello di Montalcino DOCG.

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