Drinking and Pairing Super Tuscan with Food

"Super Tuscan" is a term used to describe a number of red wines that do not adhere to the wine laws of Tuscany. Although well-intended D.O.C. laws were introduced there in the 1960s, this legislation did little to improve the quality and image of Italian wine. Indeed, poor winegrowing continued and Italy's fine wine image further declined. In the 1970s, some Tuscan winemakers began to experiment with French grape varieties and new methods. These avant-garde wines did not meet requirements for D.O.C status, and despite being some of the finest wines ever made in Italy, they were instead labeled with the lowly "Vino da Tavola" (table wine) designation. As their reputation grew, these "table wines" fetched higher prices than even the famous wines of Barolo and Brunello. In 1992, the Italian government created a new category of wine called I.G.T. in order to bring Super Tuscans into the fold. Some Super Tuscans, such as Sassicaia, Solaia, Ornellaia, and Masseto, are based on Bordeaux varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Others, like Tignanello and Vigorello, blend Tuscany's own Sangiovese with these Bordeaux varietals. Others still, like Pergole Torte and Cepparello, are wines made in the Chianti zone from 100% Sangiovese (now allowed in the Chianti D.O.C.). Most Super Tuscans are highly-collectible, very cellarable, and often quite expensive.

The Tuscan people are big meat eaters and Super Tuscans are perfect accompaniments to grilled steaks and roasts. Bitter vegetables like rapini and kale make fine accoutrements, and also polenta, stewed white beans, and porcini mushrooms.

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Super Tuscan pairs well with:

Beef

Olives

Caribbean cuisine

Foods cooked via Braise/Soup/Stew

Savory dishes