Tuscany is a land of excellent wines and a regional cuisine whose roots can be found in rural farming traditions.
Each wine, just like every dish, tells the story of the territory where it’s made. Here, we suggest a brief introduction to 5 wines that match perfectly with 5 typical Tuscan recipes. Try it at home or next time you go to a restaurant!
Here is our list of possible pairings between 5 Tuscan recipes and 5 regional DOC or DOCG wines.
Bordatino is a soup made with cornmeal, typical of the areas around Pisa and Livorno. There are different varieties, the most famous ones are the bordatino alla pisana with kale and the fish bordatino. It’s a simple, yet nutritious and flavourful dish, with a name that reminds its origin, on board fishermen’s boats. .
With bordatino we suggest drinking a Val di Cornia DOC white wine, from the area between Pisa and Livorno, where the main varietals are Viogner, Ansonica, Malvasia, Trebbiano and Vermentino. A Val di Cornia white with a certain softness balances the sweet and slightly bitter taste of the bordatino.
Gnudi (naked) because these ricotta and spinach balls are ultimately the filling for ravioli, without the outer dress of home-made pasta. The additional ingredients are only eggs and seasonings. They are usually served with butter, sage and grated cheese. Sometimes, for a heartier dish, with a meat sauce.
Gnudi with butter and sage pair well with a white wine with good acidity, which contrasts nicely the oiliness of the butter and cheese. We recommend a classic Tuscan white, the Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG.
One of the symbolic dishes of traditional Tuscan cuisine, pappa al pomodoro, made up of a few simple ingredients: stale Tuscan bread, tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil and basil.
Pappa al pomodoro can be combined with a delicious glass of Carmignano DOCG, whose discreet softness and alcoholic structure balances the acidity of the tomatoes. Carmignano is produced in the Prato area; in 1716 Cosimo III de' Medici included these hills among the most important wine-making areas of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
Peposo, popular in the Florence area, is a stew made with beef and cooked slowly and for hours in Chianti wine, along with a considerable amount of black pepper (where the dish gets its name from). The result is a flavourful meat that melts in the mouth, immersed in a thick and dark sauce, with a slight acidity due to the wine.
Peposo can be paired with Chianti Rufina, a particularly savory and mineral Sangiovese.
Finally, a truly classic combination from one of the most beautiful and famous islands of the Tuscan archipelago, the Island of Elba.
Schiaccia briaca is a sweet dish from the island that is prepared like bread, but without yeast. It’s mixed together with extra-virgin olive oil, flour, dried fruit and sweet wine. But which sweet wine? Elbans can’t agree on this one! In Rio Marina they use Alchermes, which gives the dish a reddish hue. In the area around Capoliveri, they add Aleatico or Moscato Passito.
Nevertheless, a small glass of one of the youngest DOCGs in Tuscany, the Aleatico Passito DOCG, pairs wonderfully with a slice of schiaccia briaca, thanks to the aromas of the dried fruit (like dried plums or figs) and its light tannins, which delicately contrast the greasiness of this olive oil-based dessert.