Match of the week
Aubergine parmigiana with Nero d’Avola
I’d already flagged up southern Italian red wines as a good pairing for aubergine (or eggplant) but it was good to be reminded just what a great match nero d'avola can be, especially with aubergine parmigiana
If you’re not familiar with the dish it’s a fabulous baked dish of fried aubergines layered with passata (tomato sauce) and cheese (this is Guardian writer’s Felicity Cloake’s ‘perfect’ version based on testing a number of different recipes)
The one we had at Planeta’s Buonivini estate in Noto was based, I think, on the one in their cookbook Sicilia which was compiled by Elisia Menduni from family recipes belonging to founder Diego Planeta’s two sisters Anna Maria and Carolina and was served at the ambient temperature of a warm July evening rather than hot.
We drank three vintages of their flagship Santa Cecilia wine which is made from Nero d’Avola with it - the 2005, 2007 and 2009 of which I enjoyed the 2007 most. It’s an elegant wine you wouldn’t necessarily expect to go with such a rustic dish but it set off the wine to perfection.
It was also, of course, a case of the right dish, in the right place at the right time.
You can buy the current 2011 vintage of Santa Cecilia from Great Western Wine for £23.50. (They're also selling the basic but very enjoyable Planeta Segreta Rosso 2014 for £8.76 at the time of writing.)
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