ISO wine pairings for this Italian veal/pork dish
- c oliver Jan 9, 2010 12:42 PM
Here is Batali's Cotechino "in Jail":
With the veal and then the very porky sausage (the rest of the ingredients aren't particularly assertive), I'd like some guidance on wines. I'll likely be serving lentils with this. No decision on something "green." My preference would be for something in perhaps the $25 range; I'd go a little but not a lot higher. Will be having two bottles of wine with dinner so any recs are appreciated. Thanks all.
Surprised nobody has chimed in, c oliver.
This looks to be a pretty wine-friendly dish. Since it's not assertively flavoured, a big, bold, jammy wine would overpower it. On the other hand, some acidity in the wine would balance the richness of the sausage. And earthy lentils mean a little rusticity wouldn't be out of place. I'd also recommend avoiding oaky wines; can't see vanilla and chocolate flavours working here.
Northern Italy produces many wines that meet these criteria: traditionally styled Barberas, Nebbiolo from secondary appellations, Sangiovese from Emilia-Romagna and elsewhere, Teroldego Rotaliano from Trento, several reds from Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Merlot/Cab blends, Schioppettino, etc.) and even the Marches (e.g. Rosso Conero) and Tuscany (Rosso di Montalcino, Rosso di Montepulciano), to name only a few. Hard to recommend specific wines without knowing what's available to you. Were I serving the dish and a wine from my cellar, I'd probably choose something like a Sottimano Barbera or a Produttori di Barbaresco Langhe Nebbiolo.
As Carswell noted, you've got some pretty wine-friendly food going. But Cotechino says Emilia-Romagna, which says Sangiovese. And while Sangiovese di Romagna might be hard to find up at the lake, good Chianti is much more widely available, and is predominantly made from the same grape.
But the fact is that it will be pretty hard to go far wrong. Especially if you stick to the wines of northern Italy (or wines made elsewhere in that style). A Barbera from the Piedmont would work (you've had one recently), as would most wines made from Nebbiolo grapes (although a Barolo would likely blow your budget). Lots of good choices.
Emilia Romagna also says a fairly dry Lambrusco or other fresh, fruity acid wines like Gutturnio from Lombardia to cut the porkiness. If this were a saucisse de Lyon, a young Cotes de Brouilly would be an answer, and I think an Italian analog would, too. To the recs above I'd add a Valpolicella, Dolcetto, a Freisa, or even a Ruche for palate freshening balance.
Carswell got it exactly right. My first choice would be a Barbera, but any good medium bodied Italian red would do. A Langhe Nebbiolo, a nice Chianti or Rosso di Montalcino, or even an Etna Rosso would all pair quite nicely.