Just take a look at the photo above: Where do you think I was served that beautiful steak?
You might guess Texas (where I live) or New York where steak is king.
Tuscany might come to mind. After all, the Florentine’s most famous dish is the fiorentina, the Italian counterpart of the American porterhouse.
The savvy Italian traveler might guess that it was in Lombardy, where they eat more beef than pasta.
No, the answer is none of the above.
In fact, that gorgeous beef rib chop above was served to me at Alessandro Ceci’s host where I was a dinner guest earlier this year.
You won’t be surprised that Alessandro served Lambrusco with the dish. But you may be surprised by how well the wine paired with the fatty, salty meat.
Many don’t realize that Lambrusco in general and Lambrusco Maestri (the clone used in Ceci’s signature Otello) in particular is actually a very tannic grape. And even though they are balanced by the wine’s gentle sweetness, their dry character is fantastic with beef.
Some of the best beef and pork in the world is raised in Emilia-Romagna. After all, where do you expect the Emilians to get all that milk for their Parmigiano Reggiano and all those pig thighs for their Prosciutto di Parma?
Honestly, I was surprised by just how well the wine worked with the beef. With its dark fruit character and its delicate touch of sweetness to match the umami flavors of the steak, it really made the dish sing.
Attention readers: TRY THIS AT HOME! You won’t be disappointed.