A Great Pairing - Fine Wines and Italian Food

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    Dec 28, 2012
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Wine has been around for almost as long as time itself. According to both lore and legend, the origins of wine come from ancient Mesopotamia. Wine most likely dates back to around 6000 B.C. in Mesopotamia, a land that had many wild vines for grape cultivation. Wine making eventually spread to Egypt, along the fertile Nile Delta. Then other southern European countries like Greece, France and Rome followed in wine making.

According to one ancient Persian fable, wine originated from some grapes that had spoiled at the table of a princess, who had lost favor with the King. She had attempted to poison herself by eating some table grapes that had spoiled in a jar. Instead, legend has it that she became slightly intoxicated and eventually fell asleep. When she awoke, she found that by drinking the spoiled grapes, her daily stresses had gone away and her conduct became far more agreeable that she regained the King’s favor. Later, he shared his daughter’s discovery with his court and decreed an increase in the production of “spoiled” grapes.

Apocryphal or not, it’s clear that wine paired with a good meal can have a wonderful effect on a person’s well-being. Italian wines are made to go with great Italian food. There’s some science in the truth. Wines contain high levels of acidity, which helps our mouths to salivate. Wines also help cleanse our palate, and provides a pause in dining before the next bite. The beauty of wine is in the pause, and the best pairings with Italian wines are Italian foods.

White wines pair well with gorgeous fresh red tomatoes and other appetizers like olives, fresh mozzarella or seafood. One of our favorites is the 2010 Pinot GrigioMezzacorona which is a wonderful match for seafood appetizers and salads. Its tart fruit flavors taste wonderful on the tongue, making it a wonderful counterpoint to clams, scallops or squid appetizers. Balanced nicely between finesse and elegance, the Mezzacorona also goes great with pasta, fish and white meats. It is a perfect wine to have on hand with a splendid Italian appetizer.

If you have a Italian dish that’s full of fresh tomatoes, experts suggest to pair the dish with a wine high in acidity. This is mostly due to the tomatoes which are also high in acidity. Some red wines are also high in acidity and can enhance delicious dishes like those found at Sedona, AZ’s famed Dahl &Diluca Italian restaurant.

Pairing high acidity red wines with the acidity in tomato sauce can definitely complement the Italian food without overwhelming it. A traditional Chianti Ruffino can be the great equalizer to a tomato-rich meal. Chiantis are also perfect for meat sauce and meat dishes or on its own. When you want a Chianti with more edge to it, when paired with an Italian veal cutlet, pasta primavera, grilled eggplant or similar dish, a moderately priced Chianti Classico or Chianti Ruffino will be the best.

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Article source: Living Dahl

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