The best food pairings for Chianti and other Tuscan sangiovese
There’s a lot of talk about how the wines of a region tend to match its food but that seems truer of Tuscany than almost anywhere else.
The traditional reds of the region - almost all based on sangiovese - work so effortlessly well that the locals barely bother with anything else, drinking them right through the meal (well up to the point they switch to vin santo …)
Because of its marked acidity, particularly when young, Chianti pairs brilliantly with tomato sauces, pizza and pasta bakes such as lasagne but it’s also a great wine with a simple grill or roast or even (gasp!) a burger. Here are my favourite pairings:
Basic or youthful chiantis
Crostini, especially topped with mushrooms or chicken livers
Pasta with a meat or tomato sauce e.g. spaghetti bolognese, spaghetti and meatballs and even meatloaf
Baked pasta dishes such as lasagne
Grilled cheese sandwiches
Bean or chickpea soup, flavoured with rosemary
Dishes with salsa verde - even fish like this roast cod dish
Salumi especially salami with fennel
Tuscan olive oils
Better quality aged or 'riserva' chiantis
Roast lamb with rosemary and garlic
Roast or braised veal, especially with mushrooms
Tuscan-style sausages and beans
Game, especially pheasant and wild boar
Bistecca alla Fiorentina, T bone or ribeye steaks
Burgers (surprisingly, maybe but think of the tomatoes and cheese … )
See also What type of food pairs with Brunello di Montalcino?
Photo © Emiliano Migliorucci at fotolia.com
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