It would probably be just right to say that Sangiovese is a highly underrated varietal. This medium-bodied red wine is initially from Italy. (No wonder, it is mostly paired with Italian preparations.) While the colour of the wine is much lighter compared to most other reds, it is high in natural acidity and moderates in tannins as well as alcohol. It’s this high acidity and moderates to high tannin content that makes Sangiovese a very food-friendly wine.
The flavour profile of the wine usually shows red plums, tart cherries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and figs. It undergoes a light oak ageing, which often imparts it a subtle vanilla and cedar character. The style of the wine may be rustic, or fruit-forward, though both go very well with food. Pairing the wines with some ingredients suggested below, say tomatoes, would accentuate the fruitiness of the wine.
- Sangiovese and tomato is a classic combination. Pair the wine with tomato-based dishes such as red sauce pasta. Spaghetti and meatballs, the Italian-influenced American dish, famous the world over, or preparations with marinara sauce, like ravioli alla marinara, are brilliant pairings with Sangiovese.
- Fiorentina steak or Florentine steak, but really, any grilled steak is delicious with this wine. Cut from the loin, the meat is marbled and cooked on live charcoal or wood fire. The temperature of the grill is boiling and very hot, and the result is a steak with grill marks on the outside, but very rare inside. It is served just with a sprinkling of salt.
- Why only meat? Grilled vegetables are a great pairing with this red too! Try a pizza with roasted veggies!
- How about a beef stew? The richness of meat helps cut through the tannins in the wine.
- Don’t think you have the time for whipping up any of these dishes? Sausages taste delicious with this varietal. Barbecued sausages, in particular, are an absolute treat!
- Dishes flavoured with herbs, mainly oregano, thyme, basil, and sage are a delightful companion to Sangiovese.
We highly recommend you to experiment and pair Sangiovese with your favourite dishes. A great companion to many foods and hard cheeses alike, it indeed is an underrated wine.