Italy: Tuscany

Montalcino and Montepulciano

Heartland for classic reds from Sangiovese
By Michèle Shah

This Guide was last updated on 28 April 2011
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Food specialities

Crostini di Fegatini: bread crusts with chicken-liver paté. Well matched to a lighter Chianti, or to a well-structured Tuscan Chardonnay.

Panzanella: stale bread soaked with water and crumbled with chopped tomatoes, onions, basil, oil and vinegar in a sort of salad. To be enjoyed with a rosé from the area.

Cinta Senese: cured ham/lard/salami/pork from a special Sienese breed of pig. Match with a simple Chianti Classico.

Cacciucco alla Livornese: piquant fish soup with garlic toast. A full-bodied, barrel-fermented white or even a lighter red or rosé will go well with this.

Pappa al Pomodoro: tomato and bread soup, well matched to the lighter Chianti Colli Senesi or non-Risevera Chianti Classico.

Ribollita: hearty soup with beans, black cabbage and other vegetables, thickened with bread. Well matched to the Rosso wines.

Pappardelle alla Lepre or with Cinghiale: flat, wide tagliatelle with rich hare or wild boar sauce. This is quite a hearty dish and should be enjoyed with a structured red, so an aged Riserva Chianti Classico or an IGT Super Tuscan depending on your mood.

Pici: home-made pasta, thicker than spaghetti, usually served with a rich meat sauce or a tomato and garlic sauce. Ideal with any good Chianti Classico

Bistecca Fiorentina: T-bone Chianina steaks, ideal with a top-quality Super Tuscan IGT red.

Rosticciana: pork spare ribs, usually cooked on a searing hot grill and flavoured with herbs. Often part of a local mixed grill. Match with any of the top local reds.

Arista: pork loin roasted with rosemary and garlic, well matched to Chianti Classico

Cinghiale in Agodolce:wild boar in sweet and sour sauce. Perfect with a top Chainti Classico Riserva, but you could match with a good Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah or Merlot Super Tuscan IGt.

Tordi allo Spiedo: spit-roasted wood thrush. My suggestion would be to match to a top-class Chianti Classico Riserva.

Pecorino: the most prevalent cheese available in the area, often served seasoned.

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