Match of the week | New season's olive oil and vino novo

Match of the week

New season's olive oil and vino novo

Last week I went on a flying visit to Tuscany to take part in the olive oil harvest and had the rare treat of being able to sample oil that has just been pressed. As you can see from the picture, it’s an incredible colour - literally deep olive green and has the most fantastic grassy flavour.

The family who make the oil - the LoFranco family of Fattoria La Vialla - throw a weekly feast for the visiting pickers during which the oil is liberally poured on everything from toasted bread to pasta to grilled meat (rabbit with fennel in this instance).

To go with it they pour a wine called Vino Novo, the wine from the new harvest which is only drunk during this period. Unlike Beaujolais Nouveau it’s not subject to carbonic maceration but simply siphoned direct from the tank. It was made from Merlot and wasn’t much more than 12% I would guess - deliciously light and gulpable with a bright fruit character that balanced beautifully with the slight bitterness of the oil. I can’t think of another wine that would have suited it better.

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