Tag Archives: Sangiovese

Five Star Cellars Sangiovese our choice for molasses pork tenderloin

As we head into fall it’s time to start thinking about making the transition from drinking light, refreshing wines to ones that hold more weight for recipes that will warm our bellies on chilly nights.

We’re excited for the move into harvest season — with it also comes the harvest of 2012 grapes — but as this week has shown even though the calendar says fall is here (Sunday is the first day of autumn after all), we’re experiencing a lingering summer.

That leaves us with the challenge of finding a wine to bridge the gap between summer and fall, but still hold up to Ann Vogel’s Molasses Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin recipe.

While the recipe sounds sweet with the molasses and sweetened coconut, we think the acidity of the balsamic vinegar will balance things out. And while you might think of molasses as something to top your pancakes in the morning, and give you a little sugar boost, if combined with the right ingredients its savory herbal notes are able to shine.

It’s these herbal notes that we want to bring out with our recommended wine pairing of the Italian grape Sangiovese. We recently recommended this wine for a pairing where balsamic vinegar dominated in April, and we’re recommending it again for many of the same reasons.

Sangiovese is a nice transition wine because of the grapes’ relatively thin skins. As a result the wine doesn’t carry the weight in the mouth that a hearty winter red might. Instead it’s a medium-bodied wine, with notes of strawberry, blueberry and plum. These fruit flavors are more prominent than the tannins because of the thin skins. The acidity of the wine will accent the herbal flavors of the molasses and browned pork.

For this recipe we recommend the Five Star Cellars Sangiovese. The Walla Walla winery’s 2008 Sangiovese won a double gold at the Seattle Wine Awards.

The winery describes its award-winning Sangiovese as opening with spice and hints of rhubarb on the nose, with bright cherry flavors and acidity in the middle and a clean finish. The wine demands a good meal to balance it out, according to the winery, so why not give the pork tenderloin a try?

Washington Sangiovese our choice for balsamic skewers, salmon and strawberries

Washington Wine Month technically ended when the clock struck twelve on March 31, but because there are so many great Washington wines out there we’re sticking with the local theme for this week’s wine pairing.

Normally we would recommend Chianti for this pairing; instead we’re going to recommend a Washington Sangiovese. But don’t let the names confuse you, Chianti is predominately made from the Sangiovese grape which is grown in the Chianti region of Italy. The region is formally recognized by the Denominazione di origine controllata — the second highest level of Italian wine appellations.

The main ingredient in Ann Vogel’s three recipes is balsamic vinegar — also a delectable Tuscan treat — and that is why we’re sticking with this Italian grape variety.

Sangiovese grapes have relatively thin skins, which means the wine features more of the fruit flavors than the tannins. As such Sangiovese is a fruity wine — notes of strawberry, blueberry and plum are noticeable — but its naturally high amounts of acidity lend a nice balance to produce a medium-bodied wine that can range from firm and elegant to somewhat of a powerhouse with a bitter finish, depending on how the wine is made.

The climate in Eastern Washington supports the Sangiovese grape, which means it’s a wine that should be easy to find in the store.

If you’re looking to support local wineries, Bainbridge Island’s Amelia Wynn Winery offers a Sangiovese, sourced from Eastern Washington vineyards. The winery’s 2008 Sangiovese was awarded a gold medal at the 2011 Seattle Wine Awards. Winemaker Paul Bianchi purchases his grapes from Kiona Vineyards in the Red Mountain AVA near Yakima.

Amelia Wynn’s wines can be purchased at the Island Vintners Tasting Room in Winslow, online or at Pane D’Amore in Lynwood Center on the island. Price is $25.

If you can’t make it to Bainbridge to purchase a Sangiovese for these dishes, we have some other suggestions. They include Arbor Crest Wine Cellars’ Sangiovese from Washington’s Wahluke Slope Vineyard ($22); Maryhill Winery’s award winning Sangiovese ($22); or San Juan Vineyards’ Sangiovese ($23).

If you’d like a wine to pair with the strawberry balsamic recipe, consider a rose of Sangiovese — which is exactly what it sounds like, a rose wine made from the Sangiovese grape.

Waterbrook Wines has a rose of Sangiovese with hints of strawberry and watermelon ($12-14) and so does Barnard Griffin ($12).