You've probably heard of Tuscan wines, which are, of course, wines that come from Tuscany. But when you see a Super Tuscan wine or are given one by a friend, you may be a bit mystified. What does "Super Tuscan" mean, and how should you enjoy this unknown wine?
Super Tuscan wines are wines made just outside of the region that was originally approved to sell wine labeled as Tuscan wine. These wines share a lot of similarities with Tuscan wines. However, they are usually blends, frequently featuring Merlot, Sauvignon, and similar grapes.
You can certainly enjoy a Super Tuscan wine alone, but here are three other ways to really bring out the best in this red blend.
Pair it with seasoned crusty bread.
Crusty bread, topped with garlic and fresh herbs, is common around Tuscany. Pairing great crusty bread from a local bakery with your Super Tuscan wine is a great way to honor its heritage. Dip the bread into seasoned olive oil, or sprinkle it with olive oil and herbs before broiling it until crispy. The strong, herbal flavors from the bread pair well with the bold flavors in Super Tuscan wine without overwhelming them.
Sample some Italian cheeses.
What could pair together more nicely than wine and cheese? To stand up to the bold flavors in Super Tuscan red wines, you need sharp, strongly flavored Italian cheeses like Asiago and Parmesan. Parmesan is not typically thought of as an eating cheese, but nibbling on little shavings between sips of Super Tuscan wine is truly satisfying. Pecorino and Fontina are two other cheese to try; just make sure you purchase from quality brands as the less expensive ones are not as boldly flavored.
Make a wine reduction for your steak.
Of course you need to sip a glass of wine alongside your steak, but you can make a wine reduction sauce to enjoy, too. Start by preparing your steak to your preference in a cast iron skillet. When the steak is done, remove it from the pan, and add about a tablespoon of minced shallot to the pan. Let this saute for a minute or two, and then pour in 1/2 cup of your wine. Let ir reduce by about half. Then, remove the pan from the heat, and stir in 1 tablespoon of butter until melted. Pour this reduction over your steaks, and enjoy a wonderful meal.