Pairings: Brunello di Montelchino and Mushroom Risotto

Pairings: Brunello di Montelchino and Mushroom Risotto

By: Vintage Wine GuyComments: 0

Brunello di Montelcino is often pretty grippy with high acidity, firm tannins that help it go great with food. Sangiovese is really one of the worlds great gifts to the dinner table. Pairing it with tomato-based pasta and sauces is a cliché for good reason - it's almost always successful. But what to have at this week's Wine with Dinner Virtual Tasting?

Brunello is a medium bodied wine and it typically goes well with an appetizer course or with a main as long as it can stand up to the acid and tannins. Think in terms of tomatoes, braised meats, grilled things, and earthy flavors like truffles. Bean soup is a classic pairing, as is mushroom and cheeses.

One of my favorites is a mushroom pasta or risotto as an appetizer or pasta course. I admit, I like Tyler Florance's recipe which you can find on the Food Network site. My secret is to go to Oceanic Market in Tampa where they have a great selection of interesting fresh and dried mushrooms. Grab a bag of dried mushrooms to put in your stock to juice it up, and some fresh maitake, oyster, or brown beech shimeji mushrooms to sauté and top the risotto with. A few drops of truffle oil (don't go overboard, it's potent) and some shaved parm on top makes it perfect.

Another favorite is grilled or roasted lamb chops. Again, I am going to lean on Food Network, this time Giada, and her recipe for grilled lamb chops, or my favorite way to do them when I need a lot - roast a rack. Roasting is easier to get each chop medium rare the way I like it.

If you are not in the mood to do your own cooking, there are several dishes from some of our great local restaurants that you can get as takeout.

  • Haven – Roasted Shitake Mushrooms, Truffles Cheese Fries
  • Counter Culture – Wood-fired Heirloom Tomato Tart, Goat Cheese Agnolotti, Wood Oven Roasted Baby Carrots, Wood Oven Ratatouille
  • Oak and Ola – Margarita Pizza, Braised Beef Shortrib Sandwich
  • Bella’s Italian Café – Paste E Fagioli Soup, Formaggio al Forno, Pizza Tre Funghi, Salciccia al Forno


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