In Tuscany, wine tours are one of the most iconic and memorable things you can do as a visitor. This part of Italy boasts several accolades when it comes to famous vintages, and on any Tuscany wine tour you will be treated to plenty of delightful tasting opportunities.
One of the themes that’s often raised when people are visiting vineyards is around food pairings. While there are some basic ground rules, there is actually more to pairing food and wine than you may have originally thought.
Some might say that this concept is an art form, and indeed it can be quite involved. One thing to remember, however, is to match similar intensities; this is a key rule of thumb, because you don’t want one to overpower the other. As you will discover on any quality Tuscany wine tour, you’re looking for a complementary combination. To make things a little less complicated, and so you don’t get bogged down with decision making when out enjoying your local meals, here are a few complementary pairings that you can’t go wrong with.
Red meat and Riserva di Famiglia
A classic combination: red and red. If you’re in Tuscany you really have to taste the magnificent beef steaks and, eaten alongside a bottle made with the Sangiovese grape, the quality of the meat simply sings. Riserva di Famiglia is 90% Sangiovese with the other 10% made up of grapes that add a subtle spice flavour. This vintage is only produced in optimum years and so its quality is guaranteed.
Agnello with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
A stunning pairing, this is a refined combination that highlights both the intense gamey flavour of the lamb and the rich oak-aged complexities of the Vino Nobile.
Fish with Litorale Vermentino
Litorale Vermentino takes the classic combination of fish and white to another level. When you’re eating on the coast, you need to drink from the coast too; these two have a symbiotic relationship that can only be experienced on the palette. The delicate flavours of the local fish are elevated by the soft characteristics of the grapes that are cultivated over the Tyrrhenian Sea in Maremma.
Ribollita with Chianti
This famous dish that has its roots in the rustic peasant cuisine that once dominated Tuscany is a true flavour sensation. Its hearty ingredients combine to make a delicious soup that is best made with leftover bread to soak up all the juices. Enjoyed along with a robust Chianti, this quintessential local combo is a classic.
Vitello Tonnato with La Mora Morellino di Scansano
The dish of sliced veal covered with a creamy sauce made with tuna is an elegant morsel that is often served as an antipasti. Paired with the La Mora Morellino di Scansano, a wine that boasts a well balanced acidity, Vitello Tonnato is made even more special. The Sangiovese grapes used in this vintage are grown at 50m above sea level, so are exposed to warmth in the day and cooler temperatures at night. As a consequence the grapes develop a complex structure full of flavour.
There is no doubt that food and wine are an integral part of the culture in Tuscany. Wine tours booked with a reputable operator will offer you the chance to learn all about the process of viniculture from the start and finish with how best to enjoy each delectable bottle.