Saturday, August 9, 2014

Tomato, toe-mah-toe: Summer's bounty with Sicilian wines from Donnafugata

Another wine pairing weekend is upon us and what better way to finish off the summer months by sharing some of the summer's bounty whether it be from our own personal gardens, farmers market or just your local supermarket. I can't believe that we are nearing the end of our summer. Where did the time go? I personally look forward to this time of year and walking out to my garden to cut some of the fresh produce out of my own garden. Although this year I'm fighting the pesky critters that seem to enjoy sneaking in and digging holes to eat my veggies. Nonetheless, I was still able to pull some produce together to be able to create some light, simple appetizers to be enjoyed.

Today I'm sharing with you a wine from a tasting that I attended this week where I had the opportunity to meet Silvio di Silvio whom is the National Brand Director for the Donnafugata winery of Sicily. I'll be sharing a lot more information about the winery itself and their other wines on my blog next week so stay tuned.

Silvio from Donnafugata winery in Sicily
Myself with Silvio di Silvio of Donnafugata winery

I prefer to eat on the lighter side during the summer like most and wanted to share some appetizers that I shared with my family from the well known author, Frances Mayes, and her latest cookbook “The Tuscan Sun Cookbook”. I had the fortunate opportunity to meet Frances Mayes earlier this summer and taste her new line of wines and hear about her latest book. I prepared her bruschetta topped with melted red peppers in a balsamic glaze.

I prepared the bruschetta brushing it with extra virgin olive oil and rubbing fresh garlic that I slightly toasted in the oven. While the bruschetta was toasting I sauteed a few red bell peppers from the garden in a pan with chopped black olives in some olive oil along with salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar. This cooked for about 45 minutes until the peppers seemed “melted”, which I then topped the bruschetta with. It was a big hit with the family and a different twist than your classic bruschetta with tomatoes. Since tomatoes are in abundance in my garden I also served a caprese salad consisting of fresh tomatoes and mozzarella topped with basil freshly picked and extra virgin olive oil.

Frances Mayes bruschettacaprese salad

With the red pepper and balsamic bruschetta I paired the Sedara red from Donnafugata because it was a great everyday wine with soft tannins and nice red fruit. The Sedara is made primarily of Nero d'Avola, but has small percentages of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah blended in.

With the caprese dish I paired the Donnafugata Anthilia. The Anthilia is a white wine made primarily from a grape you may not be familiar with, Catarratto. Catarratto is a grape that is planted primarily in Sicily and is the most common grape found there. There is also some Inzolia blended in, which is most comparable to a chardonnay. This wine was drier with a nice crispiness and minerality that I enjoyed with this. There were some other great wines that I tasted from Donnafugata that I look forward to sharing with you, but I felt this was the best pairing to what I prepared.

Sedara from Donnafugata Sicily made of nero d'avolaAnthilia catarratto from Donnafugata

Wine Pairing Weekend # 3 Bloggers: Be sure to check out what my fellow bloggers have come up with for the August Wine Pairing Weekend!  Look forward to sharing more with you next month!

Pull That Cork will share "Wine for Summer’s Bounty. Will Garnacha Do the Trick?"
Meal Diva will pair "Summer Vegetable Red Sauce with Amarone"
Culinary Adventures with Camilla is posting "Pan-Seared Padròns with DeRose Vineyards' Négrette"
Grape Experiences is pairing "Cecchi Chianti Classico 2010 and Vegetable Lasagna"
Curious Cuisiniere will share "Chipotle Garden Salsa with Wild Hare Petite Sirah"
ENOFYLZ Wine Blog is posting "Grilled Paiche with Fresh Corn and Poblano Peppers"
Take a Bite Out of Boca will share "Quinoa-Crusted Eggplant and Heirloom Tomato Stacks paired with Monrosso Chianti"
foodwineclick is sharing "Summers' Bounty or Attack of the Killer Turnips?"
Confessions of a Culinary Diva will blog about "Lobster Paella and Albarino"
Tasting Pour will share "Summertime and the Cooking is Easy"
Cooking Chat is pairing "Linguine with Pesto, Fresh Tomatoes and a Sauvignon Blanc"

Join the #winePW conversation: Follow the #winePW conversation on Twitter throughout the weekend and beyond. If you're reading this early enough, you can join us for a live Twitter chat on our theme "Wine for Summer's Bounty" on Saturday, August 9, from 11 a.m. to noon Eastern Time. You can also visit our group Pinterest board to pin some great pairing ideas for later! Stay tuned for the September Wine Pairing Weekend, which will focus on "Regional Food and Wine Pairings" on Saturday, September 13.

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