I’m going to start with something simple and, not surprisingly, Italian influenced. I love polenta. In fact, I’ve made it a priority to track down the best polenta meal out there. A lot of Latin markets stock a variety of corn meals. If you are looking for one that is inexpensive but that makes great polenta, try to find La Fe, I’ve even found it occasionally at ShopRite. It’s not the ideal grind for polenta, a touch coarser than I would like, but it does a fine job with exceptional flavor.
Get The Recipe Here
With the northern Italian twist of this recipe, I’ve chosen a pair of wines that capture the mountain character of the north of Italy and south of Austria yet remain crisp enough for fall.
Bright, medium-bodied and zesty, Blaufrankisch produces wines that are full of plump, dark berry fruit with lovely hints of spice. These work perfectly as a counterpoint to the earthy flavors of this dish. The acidity is key, playing off the acidity the tomatoes add to this recipe and creating a lively pairing.
Try the 2009 Weninger Blaufrankisch from Austria
In many ways, this dish is typical of something one might encounter in the north of Italy, where Pinot Bianco produces some of its finest examples. Again, acidity comes into the picture. Instead of adding a spice note to the pairing, Pinot Bianco brings a certain minerality, which serves much the same purpose, creating a counterpoint to the earthy flavors of the dish.
Try the 2011 Cantina Terlano Pinot Bianco from Italy