Classic Italian Food And Wine Pairings – Lombardy Dishes And White Wine

Located to the south of Switzerland, mountainous Lombardy in northern Italy is one of the few Italian regions that has no seacoast. To make up for this terrible shortcoming, this lovely region is home to several beautiful lakes. Lombardy is a major agricultural producer and its capital Milan is the financial, fashion, and media center of Italy. Lombardy has it all, including some fine wine and food.

Risotto alla Milanese (Risotto with Saffron) is one of the region’s signature dishes. It is composed of dry white wine, onion, Parmesan cheese, a few other ingredients, and the optional but highly recommended beef marrow. While this dish is often paired with red wine, your white wine choices include a Pinot Grigio such as the local Oltrepo Pavese or a Soave (make sure that you get a good one) that comes from the neighboring region of Veneto.

You should really enjoy Orata al Cartoccio (Sea Bass Roasted in Paper), which is made with unsalted butter, olive oil, and your choice of seafood such as shrimp, clams, and mussels. If, like me, you are not exactly wild about Sea Bass or if you’re worried about its possible extinction you can substitute another fish. Italian Pinot Grigio is recommended for this delicious dish.

Tinche ripiene (Stuffed Tench), a carp-like fish, is prepared with breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan Cheese, olive oil, and several spices. One recommendation is the local Franciacorta DOCG Saten, a bubbly wine made from Chardonnay. I beg to differ; I really don’t think you should spend the money for this wine, even if you can find it, to accompany such a meal. I would go with a still Italian Chardonnay and save the bubbly money for a more upscale dish. If you are lucky enough to visit the Lake districts of Lombardy make sure to taste the local fish, grilled, boiled, or pan fried with local white wines such as Lugana DOC, sparkling or not.

Lombardy offers many, many desserts that go with white wine. Torrone (Nougat) is often found in North America. It is made from honey, sugar, almonds, candied fruits, and other goodies. Enjoy this yummy candy in moderation with a Greco di Bianco DOC from Calabria, a Moscato di Trani DOC from Apulia, or the Tuscan Vin Santo di Montepuciano DOC. These dessert wines are sold in small bottles, and may be hard to find, especially the first two.

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