Pasta with Fresh Tomato ‘Sauce’ … Paired with a Tuscan Merlot

Pairing: Pasta with Fresh Tomato ‘Sauce’ Paired with a 2010 Castiglion del Bosco “Dainero” Toscana

Food:  With the unusually warm October weather here in New Hampshire, the tomatoes keep on ripening. It’s hard to keep up with them … oh, yeah … we can always can them. But finding ways to enjoy them fresh is always a great treat. When we are looking for inspiration for an Italian dish, our go-to cookbook is Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s The Italian Country Table: Home Cooking from Italy’s Farmhouse Kitchen. Her Tomato Sauce II recipe calls for 1/2 inch cubes of fresh tomatoes … a perfect use for our seemingly inexhaustible bounty of delicious heirloom tomatoes. It calls for making a soffritto only out of long, slowly cooked onions, with some garlic, fresh basil and red pepper flakes added at the end of the cooking. Stir in the cooked pasta and combine with the fresh tomatoes to just warm the tomatoes, not cook them. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. Fabulous with the fresh, flavorful heirlooms … but you can even make this dish with canned tomatoes.

Pasta with Uncooked Tomatoes

Wine:  And now it’s time once again for … true confessions. I’m not wild about Merlot. And that’s been true since long before the movie Sideways came out. However, Merlot from Italy (from France, too, for that matter) can be sublime and divine. Dainero is a Super Tuscan wine composed mostly of Merlot. Castiglion del Bosco uses 90% Merlot and 10% Sangiovese from their vineyards in the Montalcino wine area of Tuscany. Although Sangiovese is king throughout Tuscany (indeed the Sangiovese-based Brunello di Montalcino is among the most prized wines in all of Italy), Merlot is one of the grapes that is part of the blend to makes some of the finest Super Tuscans in Tuscany. This Dainero is a delicious and inexpensive example of this Merlot-based wine. A steal at $13

Tuscan Merlot

Tasting Notes:  A deep, dark red … almost black. A delicate aroma of ripe black elderberry … one might experience such a smell while biking past a hedgerow. The palate is a BLAST of blackberry and black elderberry, combined with a lovely earthy background. There is a also a hint of overcooked jam … maybe not so good in jam … but great in this wine! The combined flavors linger long on the finish. The black fruit really plays off well against the parmesan cheese, onion and tomato.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce:  Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand), Pinot Grigio (Italy), Soave (Italy), Gewürztraminer (Germany), Amarone (Italy), Barolo (Italy)

Other Food That Pairs Well with Italian Merlot:  Mushroom Risotto, Cheese (Parmesan, Gouda, Gorgonzola), Pizza, Rabbit, Tuna

Read About Italian Merlot:  https://www.winewordswisdom.com/wine_reviews/best-merlots.html

A Source:  www. klwines.com

 

 

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Tomato Tarts … Absolutely Delicious with an Italian Chardonnay

Pairing:  Tomato Tarts Paired with a 2012 D’Amico Chardonnay Calanchi di Vaiano

Food: As the autumn harvest nears it’s end here in northern New England, we cherish the last few evenings that are warm enough and light enough to enjoy dinner on the terrace. It is also the time to catch the last of the heirloom tomatoes before the frost hits. These tomato tarts capture the rich, deep flavor of the heirlooms and showcase them as the centerpiece of the meal. We use the recipe found in The French Culinary Institute’s Salute to Healthy Cooking from America’s Foremost French Chefs, a fabulous cookbook. The recipe calls for making a savory pastry from flour, egg, olive oil, canola oil, salt and water. Chill the dough, then shape it into six-inch rounds. Top the rounds with overlapping thinly sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with parmesan cheese, fresh basil, salt, and pepper. Bake at 375F for about 8 minutes. Unbelievably good!

Tomato TartsJPG

Wine:  For fun … over the next few months we are going to sample Chardonnays from several different parts of the world, exploring different expressions of the Chardonnay grape.  This Calanchi di Vaiano winery is located in the Lazio wine region of central Italy, the locale of the ancient city of Rome.  The D’Amico’s Chardonnay is unoaked allowing only the terroir created from the eroded lava hillsides where the vineyards are planted to shape the flavors of the wine.

Calanchi ChardonnayJPG

Tasting Notes:  A beautiful medium-gold color. Inhale deeply … one is almost knocked over with the delightful aromas of honey, honeysuckle and peach. On the palate, one recalls one’s youth eating a bowl of honeyed peaches. But it’s not a sweet wine … there is just enough acidity to brighten and balance the flavors. Another sip … is that apricot there in the orchestra of tastes … maybe a little bit of spice, too … nutmeg? Gosh, this is a really, really nice wine. One of the top 5 Chardonnays I’ve ever tasted! And … $14 … get more! Oh, and it’s a brilliant pairing with the tomato tarts. Just brilliant. (do I detect a little bit of head-swelling? … nay). The wine, the tomatoes, the crust, the cheese … all work together to enhance each flavor. Wonderful!

Other Wines That Pair Well with Tomato Tarts:  Soave (Italy), White Burgundy (France), Pinot Grigio (Italy), Vouvray (Loire), Albarino (Spain).

Other Food That Pairs Well with Italian Chardonnay:  Pasta with a Light Cream Sauce, Crab Cakes,  Fresh Tuna and Tomato with Pasta, Pasta Salad with Mushrooms & Tomato.

Read More About Lazio Wines:  http://winefolly.com/review/the-wines-to-know-from-lazio/

A Source:  www. klwines.com