Montepulciano & Food Pairings

Montepulciano is a juicy medium-bodied red wine grape from Italy which has a naturally high acidity that makes it perfect with tomato-based dishes. The wine also features robust herbal flavours and grippy tannin that demands rich and fatty foods like beef brisket, meatloaf or hamburgers.

Pepperoni Pizza and Montepulciano

Montepulciano has a reputation as being a pizza-loving wine. The high acidity blends will with the tomato sauce, and the chewy tannin pairs well with any meat you may add. We love how Montepulciano goes well with pepperoni that has been cooked to the point where it is crisp and forms a little grease holding cup. The acidty of the wine cuts right through the grease and offers refreshment against the meat and cheese. Meanwhile the herbal notes add a little more life to this pairing.

Hamburgers with Mushrooms and Montepulciano

As we mentioned above, the tannin in this red loves a meaty and fatty dish like a pub style hamburger. Even if you top it with cheese, Montepulciano has enough heft to not be crushed. We added mushrooms to this pairing as the herbal flavours in the wine complement the earthy notes found in sauteed mushrooms.

Sautéed Chicken with Tomato Sauce and Montepulciano

Tomato Sauce on its own is difficult to pair with, (as full bodied wines with low acidity come across as flat), but Montepulciano can step in and befriend every element in this dish. The herbal notes elevate the neutral chicken flavours (and the tomato sauce). Meanwhile the tannin in this medium bodied red holds up the the protein in the chicken or any cheese you might add.

Barbecued Beef Brisket and Montepulciano

Montepulciano has a fair amount of tannin to bite into the meat as well as a natural elevated acidity that cuts through the dense meatiness of Beef Brisket. We find the dried herbs flavours add more depth to Beef Brisket, making for an excellent pairing.

If you’re feeling ambitious, seek out an aged Montepulciano. Montepulciano that has been aged in oak exhibit deep black-fruit flavours such as blackberry and prune, licorice, and oaky flavours of cocoa, and vanilla. The vanilla and chocolate flavours of an aged Montepulciano is a perfect complement to the crust of the Brisket.

Meatloaf and Montepulciano

Meatloaf tends to be a little dry and sometimes bland, and the juicy nature of Montepulciano, along with its herbal notes, adds a lot of zest to this pairing. Furthermore, If you coat your Meatloaf in a tomato based sauce, or add ketchup to it, the acidity in Montepulciano will not clash with it, like other wines might.

For similar reasons, Montepulciano is highly recommended with beef burritos.

Types of Montepulciano Wine

Keep in mind that Montepulciano is a grape, and can be found in dozens of Italian wines. These wines are often blended with other grapes, but Montepulciano would make up the majority of the wine. Here are the most popular, which will have their own separate food pairing blogs soon.

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC – Abruzzo Region
Rosso Conero DOC – Marche Region
Biferno DOC – Molise Region
San Severo Rosso DOC – Puglia Region


Do you have a favourite Montepulciano and Food Pairing? Let us know in the comments below!


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