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Feb 9, 2014 08:44 AM

Sagrantino food paring

Anyone have thoughts on a great pairing with Sagrantino produced by Paulo Bea?

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  1. I confess that I had to Google this wine. It's a big, big, tannic red. Match power with power. Wild boar or hare and if you have some left over, Pecorino cheese.

    It's from Montefalco in northern Umbria where we just happen to be going in September, just a stone's throw from Assisi (St Francis d') where we spend our first night after flying into Perugia.

    But I'll skip it. I prefer feminine wines.

    6 Replies
    1. re: collioure

      Thanks! There is a town named Spello about 15 minutes away from Assisi that is delightful if you have time. There is a wine store/trattoria called Enoteca Properzio that is well worth visiting.

        1. re: maria lorraine

          A wonderful town. So much quieter than Assisi. Did you meet Roberto at the Enoteca?

          1. re: jmills

            I did not, but have visited quite a few wineries in Umbria on many visits to the area, in particular a number of Sagrantino wineries along the Sagrantino "road," so there was no need to visit the enoteca in Spello. Spello is one of those delightful small towns in Italy that simply charms. I climbed the walkway all the way up to the top of the town -- it circles the town like a necklace -- and was simply enchanted by the homes and backyards and the irresistible charm of it all. A few times I was there during truffle season, so I fully sampled that, which is why I mentioned pairing Sagrantino with carpaccio with truffle slices (or mushrooms in general), as I have done several times. Another time I visited Spello and Umbria was just before Pasqua, and wild asparagus was in season. Everywhere I went, my hosts wanted me to have this great luxury -- wild asparagus -- and what turned out was that it was at every meal!

      1. re: collioure

        Paolo Bea's wines, while full bodied are quite finessed and nuanced. I wouldn't go too powerful with the food, but roasted game/fatty beef will work.

        My favorite producer of a region that doesn't start with the letter "B" :)

        1. re: collioure

          Be careful about dark red sauces, mushrooms and cheese, esp. Parmagiano Reggiano - tannins and umami don't play well together.

        2. I meant "pairing" of course!

          1. Never tried this varietal. From the description I'd think the safest initial pairings to try it with are red meat dishes: steak, prime rib, kebabs, etc.

            1. Sagrantino is not always a big red wine; some producers make a more medium-weight red. The varietal has nice juicy red fruit, and usually found are some mushroom-y, forest notes. I find Arnoldo Caprai's a bit too tannic, and overoaked, but there are many drinkable Sagrantinos.

              I like high-quality beef carpaccio with it, especially with truffle slices. Risotto prepared classically. I'd advise you to prepare something for medium-weight red wine, that's not too complicated or intense so you can taste the subtleties of the varietal.

              2 Replies
                1. re: maria lorraine

                  I've tasted a variety of different styles of wine made from Sagrantino. When I first encountered it in the 80s, it was always sweet (traditionally it was used as sacramental wine, hence the name), so the first time I had a modern dry one it was a shock.

                2. Well, the closest I got to this wine was the wine list in Assisi two weeks ago. Dinner at la Pallotta called for a light red and I ordered a Morellino.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: collioure

                    some of the sagrantinos won't be markedly heavier or more tannic than the stiffer Morellino di Scansanos, in my experience, but that is from bottles with mid term cellaring. the Caprai bottles waiting for me will be getting at least twelve or fourteen years of rest. there are also a number of Umbrian rossos that are predominantly sangiovese with around .20 sagrantino appropriate for foods that prefer lighter wine.

                    1. re: moto

                      I tend to avoid wines from Umbria, preferring wines from Tuscany, Piedmont, Veneto, Campania and Puglia. I don't see Italian wines very often and I go to the ones I can count on.

                      Like Livio Felluga Friulano (didn't leave a drop).

                      1. re: moto

                        I've had quite a few Sagrantinos that have been medium-bodied, certainly not heavier than Morellino. The Caprai seems unlike any other Sagrantino I've had: inky, overoaked, heavy, overwhelming the grape, and taking much too long to resolve and become drinkable. I wish they didn't make the wine in that style.