Friday, February 5, 2021

Braised Brisket with Donnachiara’s Kapemort Aglianico

As the snowy days have arrived finally in New England the timing couldn’t have been better for this month’s feature of Italian Food, Wine & Travel as we pair Italian wines with braised meats.  I recently wrote about a pairing with Donnachiara’s Greco di Tufo and today will be featuring one of their Aglianico wines from a newer line of theirs, Kapemort.   

Donnachiara’a Kapemort Line 

I won’t dig too much into the details of the Campanian winery in Montefalcione, Donnachiara, since I recently covered it. Today we’re going to focus on what they deem their “unconventional wines” and with their eye-catching skull labels who doesn’t love to discover the meaning behind fun labels. 

The labels of their Kapemort line were created by the Sicilian artist, Alex Caminiti, whom has worked with a large variety of big brand names.  The skulls on the label represent the mystery and myths of Naples as you’ll read below on their Nerone Aglianico.  The Kapemort project was created to attract a wide variety of wine lovers and not just the wine connoisseurs.  Their goal is to make wine “within everyone’s reach, easy to drink, and is an expression of creative freedom and the take it easy philosophy because life is so brief”.  If there is ever time that the whole world understands this desire to live life to the fullest it‘s now.     

The Grape ~ Aglianico 

Aglianico is one of my favorite grapes of Italy and is primarily found in the volcanic areas of the Campania and Basilicata wine regions in southern Italy.  Campania is home to an abundance of native grapes and Aglianico leads the way for red grapes in the region occupying 30 of the 60% of total area under vine for red grapes. 

Aglianico is a late ripening and thick-skinned grape resulting in wines with high tannin, high alcohol and high acidity.  They are full-bodied wines that are deeply colored and can be quite dense and powerful.  It typically grows well on the hillsides of these regions and takes a liking to the volcanic soils resulting from Mt. Vesuvius in Campania and Monte Vulture in the Basilicata.  

The Wine 

2019 Donnachiara Kapemort Nerone IGT: This wine is made 100% from the aglianico grape grown in clay soil. The name Nerone derives from “the Terme Stufe di Nerone, an ancient spa center, a place of entertainment and games for Ennio, pleasures, loves and betrayals for Cicero and damnation for Properzio as well as a vice for Seneca” as listed on the Kapemort website.   

The color was a fairly dark ruby red.  On the nose were black cherries and ripe blackberries with a hint of licorice and white pepper.  On the palate the wine had high acidity continuing to show blackberries and dark fruits.  I was surprised how approachable the tannins were. Since this wine was provided as a sample I couldn’t locate the SRP, but it’s sold on their site at 10 euro. ABV 13%  

2019 Donnachiara Kapemort Nerone Aglianico

The Pairing 

I chose to pair this Aglianico with a braised brisket that simmered on low filling my home with wonderful aromas.  I rehydrated my dried porcini mushrooms in boiling water for about 15 minutes and used that juice to braise the brisket along with chicken broth, tomato paste and a variety of spices.  Once the brisket was cooked, I simmered the sauce until it thickened.  The Aglianico was a natural pairing to this dish and was quite the treat.

Braised brisket and porcini mushrooms with aglianico

Join my fellow Italian food and wine lovers as they share their Italian wine choices with braised meats.  Join us live on Twitter at #ItalianFWT this Saturday at 11am EST.  See you there!


*This wine was provided as a sample, but opinions are always my own.


  1. Aglianico is one of those grapes with which I have very limited experience and this just makes me want to try more!

  2. Aglianico is one of my favorite winter wines! Or really anytime wines. But I tend to drink it more in the winter for some reason. Love your brisket.

  3. "The mystery and myth of Naples"- love a good story behind a wine label. This Aglianico and your brisket sound like karma together.

  4. Sounds like a delicious pairing and I love the wine's label too! Cheers, Jen!

  5. Can't think of a more delicious pairing for Aglianico than brisket with porcini - yum! I tasted this wine recently and agree with your notes - very approachable and enjoyable to drink - even on its own. Have fun in the snow!

  6. I LOVE this label. Thanks for sharing this side of Donnachiara's option's -- I'll be on the lookout. And I'm sure it was delicious with the brisket.

  7. Aglianico and Braised Brisket? Yes, please! A great idea to use the water from the re-hydrated Porcini mushrooms as part of the braise liquid. Taking notes!

  8. This Aglianico and that Brisket sounds like a great pairing Jen! And I'm making a note of using liquid from the re-hydrated Porcini mushrooms in the braise liquid!