22 August 2008

2003 Feudo Monaci Salice Salentino

I love inexpensive Italian wines that age well. Such as the 2003 Feudo Monaci Salice Salentino. $11, 13.5% abv. 80% Negroamaro, 20% Malvasio Nera. This is from Puglia, the bootheel of the Italian peninsula, produced at a winery dating back to 1480. When this winery was founded, Columbus hadn't even begun seeking venture capital for his voyages. It's mild and mellow, not oxidized, with good black cherry aromas and flavors. Hint of coffee and cinnamon. I decanted it a good four hours before dinner, and it was velvety smooth and quite nice.

What's up with the root vegetables alongside? I made glazed turnips and carrots to go with the steaks. Chop up the peeled roots into roughly similar sizes. Parboil for five minutes. Toss with olive oil, maple syrup, and Old Bay seasoning. Cook until soft and glazed, with frequent stirring and turning.

Turnips are not something that I normally get excited about, but I do like the flavor. Here they work well texturally with the carrots, and the two flavors play off each other well. The touch of maple syrup boosts the inherent sweetness of the root vegetables, and the spices can be modified any number of ways to suit your household palate. Frankly I was thinking these needed some hot peppers and a bit of garam masala.

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