Manara, Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2013
In the Veneto region of Italy the word Valpolicella means “valley of many cellars.” And this particular wine is a great find from one of those cellars. Made from 70% Corvina, 20%, Rondinella, and a10% blend of Molinara, Dindarella. The grapes are hand harvested and go thru gentle fermentation and pressing. 18 months of stainless steel ageing is followed by an additional 6 months of bottle aging preserving the purity of the fruit.
This beautiful ruby colored wine has fresh cherry aromatics with slight spice and leather notes. From the first to the last sip the flavors are all about bright red fruit, cherry raspberry and cranberry balanced nicely by acid and fruit tannins. Vibrant and fruit driven (not sweet) this wine a pleasure to drink on its own anda great versatile companion to pasta, pizza, white meat, cream sauce. A true value at $15.99
I picked this dish to pair the wine with because of it bright fruit and ability to stand up to starch, cream and cheese: Also because potato Gnocchi is a classic dish in Veneto where this wine comes from.
Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
What you will need:
4 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups semolina flour
3 cups all-purpose flour
(Optional pre-made potato Gnocchi available at most grocery stores in the fresh pasta section)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic, chopped
½ cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 ½ cups chicken stock or water
3 cups heavy cream
4 Tbsp parsley, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
How make do it:
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold salted water. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes, until potatoes are cooked but still firm. Drain potatoes and transfer to a baking sheet to cool...
Once cooled, pass potatoes through a food mill or ricer into a large bowl. In a second bowl, stir together the semolina flour and 2 cups of the all-purpose flour; reserve additional 1 cup of all-purpose flour for dusting.
Pour the semolina mixture into the bowl with the potatoes and stir until fully combined. Transfer dough to a cutting board and form into a large 3-inch thick loaf; let dough rest for 10 minutes.
To cook the gnocchi: bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Slice loaf into 1-inch slices. Dust a cutting board with the reserved all-purpose flour and roll dough into ½-inch thick logs and cut ½-inch pieces on a bias, and transfer gnocchi onto a well-floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough...
Working in batches, drop gnocchi into the boiling water to cook for 3 minutes, or until gnocchi floats to the top. Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to an oiled baking sheet to cool; repeat process with remaining dough.
For the sauce, stir and cook onions and garlic with 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat until onions soften. Add Gorgonzola cheese and continue cooking while stirring until cheese is starts to melt. Stir in chicken stock and cream.
Bring mixture to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce begins to thicken. Add cooled gnocchi to the sauce and continue to simmer until gnocchi are hot and sauce has thickened enough to coat the dumplings.
Add salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with parsley and serve. Recipe adapted from Chef Vita Rizzuto
The Wine Guys