Author of a Tuscan Odyssey, Lee Cooper is guest posting for us, giving us some tips on what wine to pair with the famous Bistecca alla Fiorentina!
“Life is too short to drink bad wine.” A proverb that is also my metaphor for life. My name is Lee Cooper, originally from the UK, but with a Neapolitan Grandmother, I came to live in Tuscany in 2001 and for three years lived on a working farm in Greve-in-Chianti. It was here that I caught the wine ‘bug’. However, one of the real joys of Tuscan wines is pairing them with the countless wonderful Tuscan dishes. The ultimate treat for Florentines is Bistecca alla Fiorentina. I think it deserves a good wine. Foreigners would choose a full bodied Brunello or Chianti Classico riserva, but the locals will say that a simple Chianti Classico is the perfect match. The steak is the star here and the wine is the supporting actor.
The question is whether you’re happy with a Philip Seymour Hoffman or you would prefer a George Clooney! For the easy to get, firm favourites, I would go with Frescobaldi’s Nippozano riserva or Banfi’s Cum Laude or Rosso di Montalcino. It also kind of depends on the year. Last year I loved Tenuta di Capezzana from Carmignano and before that, Rietine’s 2004 Chianti Classico riserva. Going up in price and quality, Felsina’s Rancia riserva is always good, as is Castello di Ama and Castello Brolio. I agree that Brunellos can be a little too structured and over powering for Bistecca, but Vino Nobile is a good match as it’s from the same region as the Chiannina beef. I like the Gattavecchi riserva, but maybe my ultimate match up and would be with Poliziano’s Asinone.