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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pairing Sicilian Cuisine With Red Wine

Etna des de l'aviĆ³

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I Love Italian Regional Cuisine - Pairing Sicilian Cuisine With Red Wine

By: Levi Reiss

Can you believe that an independent Sicily would rank seventh in the world when it comes to wine production? Again and again I was forced to strike suggested wines off the list because they aren't available in North America, at least not yet. So maybe you should plan a trip to this lovely, distinctive island and get local treats that just don't make it to North America such as Sicilian ices made from the snows of Mount Etna. Sicilian wine is meant for food. I still remember bringing a $40 bottle to my wine class a few years ago. Nobody, including me, was impressed. They didn't even finish the bottle, and so I had a single, small serving left. I brought the wine home and paired it with slow-cooked beef ribs. How do you say ooh-la-la in Italian?

Caponata Siciliana (Eggplant and Tomato Stew) is great as an appetizer or a side dish. My local supermarket sells a so-so version, but obviously homemade is the best. I haven't tried the sweet and sour version that often includes raisins. That's not my way of consuming grapes. The wines that are recommended for caponata are rarely available here, but one matche I liked was with the Novio Mezzacorona produced from Teroldego and Lagrein grapes native to the Trentino-Alto Adige region in northeastern Italy. This is a new wine, fairly similar to the French Beaujolais Nouveau. It is available for a few weeks after mid-November. Don't make a special purchase, after all we're not talking about a main dish.

Falsomagro (Stuffed Beef Roll) is made from ground beef, steak, and several cuts of pork including Italian ham and Italian bacon. You may find it hard to get the ingredients as is the case for many recommended wines. You should be able to find a Valtellina Superiore DOCG which comes from Lombardy.

Bollito Misto (Mixed Boiled Meats) is popular in many parts of Italy including Sicily. Every traditional cook and chef has his or her own recipe. This is one case where we can say the more the merrier. One of the many suggested sauces is mostarda di frutta (preserved spiced fruit), and the leftovers are delicious. Among the suggested wine pairings are Barbera D'Alba (Piedmont) and Rosso Piceno (The Marches).

Like in so many parts of Italy and frankly just about everywhere else, spaghetti and pizza are popular. Among the many local versions alla Norma (tomato, fried eggplant, ricotta cheese, and basil) is a real favorite. Variations abound, for example, the ricotta may be raw or baked. Serve them with a Chianti Classico from Tuscany or with a wine based on Sicily's up and coming signature grape, Nero d'Avola.

About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but definitely prefers drinking fine French, German, or other wine. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website features a weekly review of $10 wines and new sections writing about and tasting organic and kosher wines. Visit his Italian wine website .

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Article Source: - I Love Italian Regional Cuisine - Pairing Sicilian Cuisine With Red Wine

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