In Italy the matching of food and wine is so important.
It is rare to have dinner (cena) without a glass of wine.
So we have decided to share with you what winemakers feel are perfect matchings for their wines.
The first in the series is Tenuta Valdipiatta in Montepulciano.
Father and daughter Giuilio and Miriam owners of Valdipiatta.
They make superb wines including a Nobile di Montepulciano, a Cru Nobile, a Riserva and a Rosso di Montepulciano. Renowned wine writers have heaped praise on the families winemaking skills with Antonio Galloni describing the 2009 Nobile as the best for that year and James Suckling describing Valdipiatta as the best winemakers in Montepulciano.
Nobile di Montepulciano
Made from Sangiovese (Prugnolo gentile) 85%, Canaiolo nero 15% the wine is a dark ruby red colour with medium to high intensity and clarity. It has aromas of cherry, chocolate, leather and licorice.
Combined with quality fruit, the tannins and acidity are impeccably balanced with a long finish. This is an outstanding example of a top flight Nobile di Montepulciano.
Lamb with Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wine
Lamb is a classic dish of Italian tradition that we find on tables especially around Easter time, but it is a great dish that you can prepare in all periods of the year and with different recipes. This is a simple but tasty way to prepare this type of meat. We recommend you to accompany this dish with baked potatoes flavored with rosemary.
Total preparation and cooking time: about 2 hours
For 4-6 persons
800/1000gr of lamb
2 glasses of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wine
1 celery stalk
2 small sprigs of fresh rosemary (one for cooking and the other for garnishing)
2 garlic cloves
4/5 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper as needed
A few fresh mint leaves
To make this dish we recommend you use the part of the thigh or the shoulder, which is best suited to the recipe. Take your lamb and cut it into medium-sized pieces, then wash it with care. Clean and cut the carrot and celery (cubes are fine) and finely chop 1 clove of garlic.
Place the lamb in a bowl and season with salt and pepper and add the other ingredients previously cut. At this point, add the 2 glasses of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wine and let marinate for about an hour. After this time, drain the meat and strain the resulting liquid which you will use to finish the cooking.
Now you can proceed to the cooking of the meat. In a low, wide pan, sauté the remaining chopped garlic, and rosemary (possibly tied in such a way as not to lose the leaves during this operation) in the olive oil. Add the pieces of drained lamb and sauté for about ten minutes until it reaches a uniform color. Reduce heat and continue cooking while gradually adding the marinade liquid that you have kept aside.
Meanwhile, gently stir the pieces of lamb, without making them stick to the bottom of your pot. The lamb is ready when the cooking liquid will be reduced by half and the meat, piercing it with a fork, is tender.
Now you can serve: place the lamb, still warm in a serving dish and serve at the table with the reduced red wine sauce that is on the bottom of cooking pan. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and mint leaves.