September 28, 2009

The Essence of Italy: Antinori Bianco & Panzanella

Being Italian I feel its my civic duty to let you know that tomato season is at its peak. And as a foodie, why not put them to good use with a delectable Tuscan dish?
Panzanella is a Tuscan Bread Salad which uses typical Italian ingredients like day-old bread, tomatoes, basil, onion, and olive oil. The reason I like this recipe is not only because it pairs well with wine, but because its seriously the most fuss-free recipe you'll ever put together. Don't believe me? Check this...
  • Step #1: In the morning, grab the above listed items.
  • Step #2: Grab a mixing bowl.
  • Step #3: Throw all the items in and hand toss.
  • Step #4: Let it sit for most of the day so it can soak in the flavors.
  • Step #5: Done!
Now on to the best part... the wine pairing! Given all the flavors in the recipe, its going to be best to complement with a light to medium body aromatic white. When I whipped this up during a our monthly Wine Down Wednesday (#winedownwednesday) party the other day, I served with Villa Antinori Bianco 2008, which is made of a blend of Trebbiano, Malvasia, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Grigio. Its golden in hue, fresh and very soft. It has a very refined aroma with floral and aromatic notes of yellow rose. Retails for just $13.

If you're looking for a pricier option, try their Guado al Tasso Vermentino 2008 from Bolgheri. Its made with 100% Vermentino grapes which are grown on the coast of Italy (bet you never heard of that varietal, huh?) which offer notes of summer fruits, like apricot and nectarine. It also has some slightly mineralistic attributes combined with a zest of citrus. Its medium body parlays well with the fare. Retails for $25.