Match of the week | Salt cod with ciambotta di peperoni and 2004 Argentiera, Bolgheri Superiore

Match of the week

Salt cod with ciambotta di peperoni and 2004 Argentiera, Bolgheri Superiore

Another interesting insight on pairing red wine and fish in Tuscany this week. We were served lightly salted cod with a rich tomato and pepper stew called ciambotta at Tenuta Argentiera which proved a perfect match for the mature 2004 vintage.

Like other wines in Bolgheri, the wine is a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc but quite different in character from similar blends in the Bordeaux region which I’m not sure I’d pair with a tomato sauce at all. Much warmer, richer and sweetly mellow.

The dish was part of a buffet during which five different Argentiera wines were served with a wide range of dishes from crudo di pesce (raw seafood salad) to grilled ribeye to cheese.

As I’ve remarked before, Tuscans consider it perfectly normal to drink red wine right through the meal even though many producers now make some attractive whites and rosés.

We had a similar pairing in a trattoria called Cibreo in Florence - a dark, dense dish of squid cooked in red wine with a 2006 Stielle supertuscan (a younger vintage than is currently available on the UK market)

After a couple of days in Tuscany drinking rich full-bodied reds with fish seems quite normal.

*Here are the details of the current 2008 Argentiera

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