Tuscany: Winter sunshine for November

This November, we have some great offers on wines from Tuscany for home delivery, available online.

Classic Tuscan reds are a great antidote to lengthening evenings, with bold, earthy flavours and beautiful cherry and chocolate aromas.  To really enjoy these wines, you’ll need to pair them with food, so the wine merchant team have racked their brains for the own pairings for the three wines below, to inspire you this weekend.  You’ll find special offers on these and more wines from Tuscany here. Offer ends 30th November.

Sangiovese’s naturally high acidity balances olive oil and rich meat dishes beautifully, especially when grown on cooler hillside vineyards in Chianti and Montalcino.  Nearer the coast, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from Bolgheri and Maremma give structured wines which work well with more classic sauces and stews. ‘Super TuscansSassicaia and Ornellaia may be out of reach to most, but the junior wines from these great estates, ‘Le Difese‘ and ‘Le Volte‘, make great value for dinner parties, or just as an affordable weekend luxury.

Tuscan Wine & Food Pairings For November

Rosso di Montalcino 2013, Castello Romitorio, Montalcino  £23.50 When you buy a case of 6 bottles (Single bottle price £26.50)

The massive twelfth century Castello Romitorio sits atop a hill surrounded by oak forests in Montalcino. Abandoned in the 1950’s, artist Sandro Chia bought the estate 1984.  Aged in oak casks for one year and three in bottle, the elegant 2013 scored 90 pts from James Suckling. Full and aromatic aroma with red cherry and violet aromas. Deep and well-balanced.

Pair with: Venison Ragù with Pomegranate seeds, Papparadelle Pasta, shaved parmesan and olive oil

“The secret to this is to make the ragù a day in advance, to allow the flavours to develop.  The clean, fresh flavor and crunchy texture of the pomegranate seeds (in season now) contrast with the earthy ragù.  Fry 500g of diced venison in olive oil until nicely browned.  Sauté a fine dice of celery, carrot, onion and leek until soft, then add the venison, season well.  Add 500ml of red wine (ideally Tuscan!) and 1-2 bay leaves.   Cook slowly in a sealed, heavy bottomed pan or casserole dish in the oven at around 140C for 4-6 hours.  Allow to rest for 24 hours.  To serve, add 250g of skinned fresh plum tomatoes (or 1 can) and a large pinch of paprika.  Simmer on a low heat for 20-30 minutes and adjust seasoning.  Meanwhile, cook papparadelle until al dente and prepare the seeds of 1 pomegranate, removing all the pith.  To serve, toss papparedelle in a little of the ragù to coat, serve with more of the ragù on top, sprinkled with a handful of pomegranate seeds.  Shave liberally with parmesan and finish with a few wild rocket leaves and a drizzle of good olive oil.” (Tim Wood, Merchant Sales)

‘Le Difese’ 2014, Tenuta San Guido, IGT Toscana
£17.95 When you buy a case of 6 bottles (Single bottle price £19.95)

The massive twelfth century Castello Romitorio sits atop a hill surrounded by oak forests in Montalcino. Abandoned in the 1950’s, artist Sandro Chia bought the estate 1984.  Aged in oak casks for one year and three in bottle, the elegant 2013 scored 90 pts from James Suckling. Full and aromatic aroma with red cherry and violet aromas. Deep and well-balanced.

Pair with:Wild boar sausages, Roasted Garlic Creamed Potato, Caramelized Balsamic Onion Reduction & Watercress

“Boil peeled potatoes in salted water and mash to a smooth consistency, season, add butter and keep warm.  Meanwhile add slice red onions to a pan with olive oil and cook until tender and caramelized. Add a dash of balsamic vinegar and reduce to syrup.  Add two glasses of red wine and reduce to syrup, keep warm.  If reduction becomes too thick, add a little water.  Wrap a bulb of garlic in foil and roast for 20 minutes.  At the same time, roast Wild Boar sausages until cooked through.  Remove roasted cloves of garlic from bulb and mix with mashed potato.  To serve – Put roasted garlic mash on a plate, add sausages, spoon over balsamic onion reduction and dress with watercress.” (Angus Campbell, Merchant Sales)

Chianti Classico Fonterutoli 2014 £19.95 when you buy a case of 6 bottles (Single bottle price £22.95)

The Mazzei family have owned the Fonterutoli estate for 24 generations, since the 15th century. The charming Giovanni Mazzei visited us in Greenwich to taste his range earlier this year and the whole team loved this benchmark Chianti Classico.  “Rich dark black fruit nose, with spicy oak and ginger, chunky but elegant palate with lovely floral black fruit and sweet spice”. – Awarded a silver medal and 93pts at Decanter World Wine Awards 2017

Pair with: 6 Hour Chianti Braised Ox Cheek Ragù, Parmesan & Olive Oil

“Brown the Ox cheeks on all sides.  Add finey diced onion and garlic, roughly chopped carrots and celery to the pan.  Cover with stock and reduce.  Add three glasses of Chianti and add to a warm to moderate oven for 6 hours. Serve with shaved Parmesan, freshly chopped parsley and a of drizzle with olive oil.” (Celia Burridant, Merchant Sales)