Velenosi 2012 Lacrima di Morro d’Alba DOC Querciantica ($19) is made from 100% lacrima, an indigenous varietal from the Marche region in Italy. A people-pleaser wine low in tannins, enough bite to balance the tomato sauce and a palate of floral and spice notes to complement any array of toppings thrown at it. The flavour profile of the pecorino grape also works well with pizza, and not just because of the name. If you can, choose a slightly older vintage or let it sit on your shelf for a year before opening, to develop some licorice notes before you uncork it with a pizza. Try Umani Ronchi 2012 Pecorino for $20.
Another favourite dish to warm your soul on a cold winter day is a bowl of chilli. Although not always hot in spice, it is full of layered flavours, starting with the meat (beef, game and sausage are common) enrobed in a seasoned tomato sauce and topped off with beans, corn, sour cream and cheese. Robust foods pair well with full-bodied reds, and garnatxa (more commonly known to North American consumers as garnacha or
grenache) from Spain has the smokiness and spice to stand up to a savoury chilli. Artazuri 2012 Navarro DO ($18) has great acidity, but you are met first with a nose full of intense dark berries, violets and black pepper that continue on to fill your palate with pleasant jamminess.
Last but not least, is chicken soup - a dish so amazing that it soothes the common cold, inspires books (why is there not yet a Chicken Soup for the Wine Lover’s Soul?) and is a staple of kitchens all over the world. The main component is chicken, swimming along with vegetables and herbs in a flavourful stock. A light bodied red complements the chicken yet does not clash with the herbs. Sokol Blosser 2011 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir ($40) is vinified organically to let its Oregon terroir speak.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with sipping a glass of gewürztraminer with a cheeseburger if that is what soothes your soul
At the end of the day, do what is important - enjoy both what is on your plate and whatever is in your glass! BJ Oudman is a physical therapist with a passion for food and wine. She travels the world when she has time between consulting in both physical therapy and wine.
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