Today on the blog I would like to invite the Cellarmasters team and acclaimed chef, Stefano de Pieri to share with us some tips on how to match Italian style wines and grape varieties with food – watch out, you’ll be very hungry by the end of this post!
Italian style wines are having a big moment in Australia, with Prosecco leading the way.
Celebrity chef and grape grower Stefano de Pieri, who has studied wine in his motherland Italy, has launched an entire Italian style wine range with Cellarmasters.
The chef says he is passionate about creating wines specifically to be enjoyed with good food.
My approach to making wine is similar to cooking – it’s all about finding the best ingredients. We seek small, delicate parcels of fruit to make balanced and exotic wines,” he explains.
My wines are created to complement food and encourage conversation at the table – in true Italian style,” he added.
Here, Stefano shares how to pair your favourite Italian style wine with food. Saluti!
Pinot Grigio & antipasti
Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are wines made with the same grape variety. Pinot Gris is the name used for wines from France whereas Pinot Grigio is the name used for wines from Italy. The wines of either name are growing considerably in popularity and are certainly a terrific marriage with many cuisines.
Pinot Grigio pairs very well with Mediterranean dishes such as fish, shellfish, a Caprese salad or most other salads and antipasti. Try the Stefano de Pieri Di Qualita Pinot Grigio 2017, a bright and vibrant white wine, showing fresh fruit.
Prosecco & almost anything
Prosecco is the national sparkling of Italy and is made from the grape variety Glera. It is a bubbly wine that is generally lighter and slightly fruitier than Champagne. However, just like Champagne, you can either enjoy the wine on its own or match Prosecco with almost anything thanks to its high level of acidity and varying levels of richness.
Try Stefano de Pieri Di Qualita King Valley Prosecco, which has been carefully crafted to ensure the delicate fresh fruit flavours of apple, pear and citrus fruits shine brightly.
Vermentino & pasta
Vermentino is a light-skinned, white wine grape varietal, primarily grown on the Italian island of Sardinia. Although light to medium-bodied, Vermentino is deliciously complex in taste and holds a firm acidity. It boasts pleasant notes of lime, pear and peach, as well as a dry palate consisting of citrus, grapefruit and fresh almond.
Australian winemakers have recently started growing the Vermentino grape with great success, and Stefano recently won a trophy for Best White Italian Variety Wine for his Stefano De Pieri Fleurieu Vermentino 2017.
Vermentino pairs beautifully with traditional Italian style foods like tomato and herb based pasta dishes.
Celebrity chef and grape grower Stefano de Pieri of Mildura Grand Hotel fame was awarded four medals, including a trophy, for his range of wines at the Australian Varieties Wine Show in Mildura recently. This Stefano de Pieri Fleurieu Vermentino 2017 picked up a trophy for the Best White Italian Variety Wine at the show. It’s made from grapes sourced from the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia and retails for $20 via @cellarmasters . Widely grown in Sardinia in Italy (amongst other regions) Australian winemakers have recently started growing the Vermentino grape with great success and I’m loving it! This one is nearly water white in colour with a yellow/green hint. The nose is full of delicate florals ?, juicy pear and fresh lemon ? citrus. In the mouth it’s elegant and crisp with lovely refreshing lemon tones. I can definitely understand why this wine is destined to match seafood! All opinions are based on my own taste buds. Wine is subjective & always evolving, so make sure you drink what you enjoy! #sample #tcweekdaywine #tctastingnotes
Sangiovese & tomato-based dishes
Sangiovese is the most commonly grown red wine variety in Italy, and is predominantly used in Italy’s famed wine region of Chianti, in central Tuscany. Sangiovese’s high acidity and wide variety of taste lends itself to many food pairings.
It is no surprise that such an Italian wine varietal pairs perfectly with tomato-based dishes. The acidity in both Sangiovese and tomatoes are able to neutralise one another, creating a wonderful marriage of flavours. Other dishes to pair include chicken and pork seasoned with basil, thyme or parsley to play off the herby notes of the grape. Try the Stefano de Pieri Di Qualita Sanigovese 2016, with classic dried herb and cherry flavours.
Moscato & blue cheese
Moscato is an Italian sweet sparkling style wine, and is made from the Muscat Blanc grape. The wine is frizzante, which means lightly sparkling, and it is known for its high aromatics. You can learn more about Moscato wine via Travelling Corkscrew’s ultimate guide.
Australian winemakers are gaining ground in making Moscato with production across a broad range of wine regions. The variety is one of Stefano’s favourite wines, which has resulted in The Mia Vita Moscato 2016.
Moscato has a lower alcohol level and together with its spritzy palate, Moscato is the perfect wine for many occasions, from weekend brunches to long, lazy picnics. It is also one of the few wine varieties that pairs perfectly with blue cheese, with the sweetness of the white wine balancing the strong flavours of the mouldy cheese. It also pairs well with Italian classics like panettone, sponges and biscuits.
A big thanks to our guests on the blog today and don’t forget, good wine & food should always be matched with excellent company!