Today, in the Tuscan vein that has been hovering around the blog in recent weeks, I decided to uncork the Bolgheri Podere Conca 'Agapanto' 2018 paired with a delicious Montisola steak. Perfect choice for celebrating the first episode of my podcast dedicated to food and wine pairing entitled 'Red (doesn't) go with everything'.

Bolgheri is a small and wonderful village in the province of Livorno that absolutely deserves to be visited. Walking along the Viale dei Cipressi secolari (avenue of centuries-old cypresses) that connects the 18th-century Oratorio di San Guido with the scenic historic centre of Bolgheri is a bucolic experience to be had at least once in a lifetime. It is the signature of the Bolgheri DOC, known and respected throughout the world, in a territory delimited to a single municipality: Castagneto Carducci. And it is within its municipal boundaries that the splendid hamlet of Bolgheri is located.

The vineyards are located between 10 m and 400 m above sea level, and from some you can see the Tyrrhenian Sea with the Tuscan Archipelago and Corsica. The ecosystem is complex: on one side we have wooded hills with soils rich in alluvial deposits, on the other we have sandy plains with marine soils rich in fossils and shells. A special microclimate with lots of light, rain especially in the vegetative phase and winds that persist 250 days a year helps to create these very elegant red wines.

Podere Conca is a delightful farmhouse complex with exposed brickwork and characteristic red window frames, the same frames that have become the company's logo consisting of 3 red squares: a choice I find delightful! The Cirri family, owners of the winery, conduct their vineyards and olive groves according to the strict dictates of organic farming, respecting the natural life cycles of the plants and protecting biodiversity. I found these wines and this winery a love... I promise I will visit at the end of the pandemic! 😍

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bolgheri red wine and fiorentina steak

Bolgheri DOC 'Agapanto' 2018, Podere Conca - Tasting notes

This wine is made from cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and ciliegiolo grapes. The grapes are harvested by hand, destemmed, crushed and fermented with the skins in steel tanks for about 20 days. It then matures for about 12 months in second-passage barriques and tonneaux.

The label shows an Agapanthus flower, a genus of herbaceous perennial plants belonging to the Liliaceae family, native to South Africa. The name is derived from the Greek agàpe (love) and ànthos (flower). Since there are sometimes more plants - mostly orchids - in my house than bottles of wine, I can't help but appreciate it...

My tasting. It is a beautiful, intense and impenetrable ruby red. Swirling the glass forms close bows from which the wine descends rather slowly. The nose is delicate and elegant, with notes of underbrush, spices, rhubarb, vanilla, milk chocolate and ripe black mulberry. In the mouth it is fresh, structured, tannic, savoury and very persistent.

This Bolgheri is truly extraordinary value for money: only 18€ for a bottle that will make you look great anywhere! You can buy it on the winery's website HERE.

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Bolgheri DOC 'Agapanto' 2018, Podere Conca - Wine and food pairing

Since I am taking advantage of this article to introduce you to my podcast 'Il Rosso (non) sta bene con tutto' (The Red (doesn't) go well with everything) it is time to talk about wine and food pairing! Today this Bolgheri is very young and still a little rough around the edges, so if you want to uncork it already, I recommend a steak like mine, possibly grilled! If you really want to go for cured meats, choose sausages (like salami or finocchiona to stay in Tuscany) because they are normally fatter and more aromatic than the chunky ones (like prosciutto or bresaola). With a sandwich stuffed with porchetta it must be extraordinary. If you want a cheese, choose a fat soft cheese, perhaps creamy, able to balance the flavour and soften the tannin.

My best advice? Buy a 3-pack of bottles and open one today, one in 3 years and one in 6 years... and compare your tasting notes of the different vintages!

bolgheri podere conca agapanto 2018

The meat I bought at Mascia's today was nothing short of touching! Just the right marbling of fat, a quick sear on the hot griddle... and a precious chef's tip: to cover the dish with a glass bell while I wait a minute before serving to give the juices and heat time to distribute evenly. I have always waited, but it had never occurred to me to cover it to prevent it from cooling... so thanks to Mauro Ravazzolo for teaching me that!

bolgheri fiorentina perfect

In short, a delicious food and wine pairing, yet another confirmation that The Red not goes well with everything.

Finally, I would like to remind you that you can listen to my podcast on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Alexa, Google Podcast and all major distribution platforms.

Cheers 🍷


red does not go with everything

Red (doesn't) go with everything

How to create the perfect wine-food pairing? Every Tuesday a new informal 15-minute lesson suitable for all wine enthusiasts, professional and amateur, to discover all the secrets of taste and its combinations.

Modules. The taste of food: the taste of ingredients, the taste of cooking, the taste of storage. The tasting of food and the examination of food. Wine tasting. Types of pairing. Food types and pairings. Wine-food pairing in history, from the Egyptians to the 20th century. Anthropology of taste: wine-food pairing between society and identity.

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