Rosso di Montalcino has been living under the shadow of his big brother Brunello di Montalcino and regarded by many as a second wine with inferior quality. However, I’d rather to regard it as a different wine – lighter, delicious and purer expression of the Sangiovese grape as compared to the more serious and powerful style of Brunello.
This beautiful Rosso di Montalcino from Podere le Ripi shows bright ruby garnet colour and a perfumed nose of rose, fresh red cherry, strawberry, with hint of spice (nutmeg) and aromatic herbs like thyme. On palate, it is elegant and pure with bright red fruits balanced perfectly with the high acidity and slight chalky tannins. The finish is long and enjoyable accompanied by lovely minerality.
As to food and wine pairing, it is important not to eat with too heavy and rich-flavored food to overpower the delicacy and purity of the wine. The wine can go very well with game and pork dishes or event rich fish dishes like grilled salmon. Lamb is also an excellent choice. For beef, I would rather choose a delicate wagyu in teppanyaki or yakiniku style rather than a dry-aged steak for the pairing. This time, I choose to pair it with Korean style of barbecue pork belly! The refreshing high acidity of the wine helps to cut through the oiliness of the pork belly and the mild flavour of the pork matches perfect with this medium-bodied elegant wine. If you like a bit of heat and biting sensation on your palate, try to add some Kimchi, which will make the pairing more interesting and exciting. Enjoy!