Food & Wine Pairing: Chicken Fried Steak
Today I have another food and wine pairing for you. Suzanne, who writes an excellent food blog, gave me her recipe for Chicken Fried Steak, which was one of my favorite dishes during my time in Houston, TX. At first glance, Chicken Fried Steak does not really call for wine.Ice-cold beer, soft drinks and ice tea are probably the true Texan pairings with this dish. I have to admit, that pairing Chicken Fried Steak with wine was quite a challenge but I like challenges so I gave it some thoughts.
With Chicken Fried Steak we want a medium-bodied red wine with a moderate acidity. Why? The wine should have soft tannins and a good structure. Further more, we want an old-world wine because, from my experience, the new-world “fruit bombs” do not pair well with many dishes.
So what choices are there? An aged French Syrah would work but my choice was a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo from Tenuta Torre Raone.
Montepulciano is a native Italian grape that is mostly grown in the regions Abruzzo and Marche. A variety of DOC & DOCG wines are produced with Montepulciano. With the most famous appellation being Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG. The Marche are famous for Rosso Conero DOC. The grape pairs well with a variety of meat.
The grape has nothing but the name in common with the Tuscan wine Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG. Vino Nobile is produced with 100% Sangiovese. Please do not confuse the two.
Montepulciano ripens late and is therefore rarely planted in northern Italy. If produced right, Montepulciano wines are known for its rich bouquet, deep color and excellent structure. These are exactly the characteristics we are looking for.
2008 Tenuta Torre Raone – San Zopito – Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC
The Montepulciano that I paired with Suzanne’s Chicken Fried Steak comes from organic winery Tenuta Torre Raone. This small winery, cultivates 30 hectares (75 acres) of vine and 3 hectares (7.5 acres) of olives. Torre Raone manufactures four red and four white wines. Their flaghsip wine is the San Zopito, which has, according to Wine Searcher, an average retail price of 15€ excluding tax and shipping.
San Zopito is produced with 100% Montepulciano grapes. The wine aged 18 months in French barriques. In the glass, San Zopito had a deep, garnet red color with light ruby red shades. The bouquet was very harmonious and of great balance. There was black fruit (ripe cherry, blackcurrant, blackberries), rosemary, viola, licorice, and some spices (vanilla, cocoa, black pepper, cinnamon). The oak notes did not dominate the wine. In the mouth, San Zopito was very dry and warm. The wine had silky, pleasing tannins and a medium body (almost full-bodied). I tasted cocoa as well as black and red fruits. Pretty well-balanced. The acidity was moderate. San Zopito had a lingering aftertaste.
The San Zopito turned out to be an excellent choice. Here in Germany, Chicken Fried Steak, is not known at all but my guests all enjoyed it. I want to thank Suzanne once again for sharing her recipe with me. You can find it below. I strongly recommend that you follow her blog.
|Suzanne's Chicken Fried Steak Recipe||Show>|
If you are looking for a quality Montepulciano d’Abruzzo but don’t want to rob a bank for an Agriverde Plateo then San Zopito from Torre Raone is a great choice. I have previously tried (and reviewed) the 2007 vintage of the San Zopito, which convinced me, too.
As usual, if you have tried the San Zopito, let me know how you like it.
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Dessert and wine pairing suggestions
Every since their existence, desserts have been used to celebrate birthdays, weddings and other special occasions. In many countries, desserts get also served after dinner. If you are the host of a such a dinner then you have to ask yourself: “What wine should I pair with the dessert?” Should you pick a wine at all or is it better to go with something else? It is said that desserts are the most difficult to pair with wine. This guide will help you to make the right choices. But remember, these are general rules and there are always exceptions. The guide will focus mostly on recommendations for traditional Italian desserts.