What A Pair: Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo and Sausage at Pizzeria Monzú

Sip this deeply-hued, crush-worthy, dry wine with a charred sausage dish called 'farcita'

By Marisa Finetti

Easy-drinking and extremely versatile in its affinity to pair with a wide variety of foods, rosés are delicious and enjoyed through every season and location—seaside to fireside. Winter may be just the right opportunity to explore the deeper-colored, often more complex wines of this category that appear in the glass more like a translucent ruby.

Hailing from Abruzzo, on Italy’s Adriatic side, is Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo. A mouthful to pronounce, but well-worth learning. Made of the indigenous Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grape, this deeply-hued, crush-worthy, dry wine is bright, boldly playful, and generous, offering immensely refreshing, crunchy red fruit juiciness. Reminiscent of a budding opera soprano, she is absolutely luminous and captivating! The name cerasuolo, which means “cherry-red,” relates to the deep color the wine becomes from the very brief skin contact with the highly pigmented skins of the Montepulciano grape. 

Winemaker Cristiana Tiberio of Agricola Tiberio produces a Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo that is rich, vibrant, cheerful, and elegant all at the same time, with mingling flavors of sour cherry, pomegranate, violet, rhubarb, and earthy undertones of herbs. Its lip-smacking acidity, firm structure, and tactile mouthfeel lead to a lengthy and remarkably fresh finish. And not surprisingly, it is versatile with all types of food. Order by the glass or by the bottle at Pizzeria Monzú and try it with their charred sausage dish called farcita (meaning filled or stuffed)—in this case, with Pecorino cheese. The fennel fronds and fennel seeds on the potatoes balance the sausage effortlessly. The dish comes complete with Gio’s (Mauro’s) salad, of which a crunchy medley of fennel, cucumber, tomato, mozzarella, and red onion offer satisfying bright textures against the tender, savory sausage. Of course, while you’re at Monzu, go ahead and have Gio’s bread, too. Because, well, you’d know if you’ve had it, you’ll want it again. And the same goes for the wine.

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