Today we decided to learn a little more about Italian wine. We went to a local wine shop and did a tasting of four different types of Tuscan reds. We had a Chianti Classico which was very dry with a short finish and was our least favorite of the four we tried. We also had a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano which was earthy, but smooth with a very long finish. This was our favorite of the four. There was also a Rosso di Montalcino which had a brighter mineral flavor, and a Brunello which had a very vegetal/tobacco flavor. After the tasting, we discovered the price per bottle was relatively high in this shop, so we didn’t buy anything. It was fun to taste four different reds in a row, but the shop didn’t teach us anything about the wines. And I imagine we might have enjoyed some of the wines more if they were paired with some food.
After some shopping this afternoon, we stopped by another small wine bar down the street from our place (Le Volpi e L’Uva) and ordered two glasses of wine and crostini di salsiccia e tartufo. This was crostini with asiago cheese, sausage with truffle pieces ground into the meat. They heated the crostini in a small toaster oven and it was incredible! And unlike the wine shop we were in earlier in the day whose bottles were very expensive, all of the wine in this shop was quite affordable. We will return soon I’m sure!
After all of the wine tasting today, I decided we should have a good pasta dinner. I had received the below recipe from a Food & Wine email I am subscribed to and thought it sounded delicious and seasonal (Creamy One-Pot Spaghetti with Leeks). I made two small variations: I used chopped capers instead of anchovies because I had the capers and didn’t want to buy anchovies for one fillet, and I used Bucatini pasta which is a thick spaghetti-like noodle with a hole running down the middle. Bucatini is one of my favorite types of pasta. It can be a little hard to find in the States, but it’s everywhere here, so I couldn’t resist. The dish turned out wonderfully and was so easy to make! Molto bene!