FC 2018 Siena

Exploring Unconventional Sangiovese Wine Pairings

Those used to matching food with Italian wines like Chianti or Brunello di Montalcino are already familiar with the do’s and don’ts of Sangiovese wine pairings. The same tips apply for pairing food with Sangiovese wines from other regions, like Sonoma County. Here are some of our rules of thumb for developing perfect pairings with our 2019 Ferrari-Carano Sangiovese and our 2018 Siena (90 points Wine Spectator), which is a blend of Sangiovese, Malbec, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon:

  1. Match the prep, not the protein. The old white-wine-with-chicken/red-wine-with-steak adage just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you think about how many different ways there are to prepare chicken and steak–or fish, tofu, mushrooms, wild game or any other protein, for that matter. Rather than getting hung up on the protein, think about the flavors that really stand out in the dish and try to match those to the flavors in the wine. Our 2018 Siena expresses loads of bright fruit like plum and raspberry that would pair well with similar or complementary elements in a dish. Think outside the box and try it with lamb tagine, grilled chicken with sundried tomato pesto, or this chicken confit with blackberry gastric.
  2. Balance acid with fat. Sangiovese-based wines tend to be moderately acidic with a good tannic structure, making them ideal for pairing with meats that have some natural fats. The acidity helps cut the richness of the meat, while the fat helps smooth out the rough edges of the tannins. Think grilled ribeye rubbed with dried Italian herbs and kosher salt.
  3. Sangiovese + Tomatoes = Love. With its origins in Tuscany, it’s no wonder that Sangiovese is the perfect partner for tomato-based dishes. For a simple starter that pairs beautifully with Sangiovese, drizzle a generous amount of olive oil into an oven-proof pan, add crushed garlic, high-quality canned tomatoes like San Marzano, and pitted, chopped black olives; then nestle a hunk of feta or chevre in the middle, topped by dried oregano, and bake the whole thing until the cheese starts to brown and the sauce is bubbly and caramelizing around the edges. Serve with generous amounts of crusty bread and a glass of Siena or Ferrari-Carano Sangiovese!

For more wine pairing ideas, like good wine to go with pizza, visit our Wine Pairing Page

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