Super Tuscan Blends

Super Tuscan Blend is a collective term for many different blends from Tuscany that may not fit within Italian wine-making rules governing the labels of wines. Often these wines fall into the IGT (Indicazione Geographgica Tipica) designation when, in fact, in terms of quality they belong in the higher quality designations (DOCG or DOC). Included among these Super Tuscan wines are such blends as Sassicaia, Tignanello, Ornellaia and Solaia. 

Most of the time these wines are blends of Sangiovese or other Italian varietals with such non-Italian varietals as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and are made using the traditional French methods of using small oak barrels (barriques) rather than the larger used wood barrels that Italian rules dictate. Today, the best producers seem to be using Sangiovese alone, Sangiovese plus Merlot, or traditional Bordeaux blends with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. 

Super Tuscan Blends generally pair with olives, tomato-based pastas, roasted meats and game, beef steaks, chicken in wine sauce, mushrooms, pancetta, prosciutto, pizza, smoked meat, cold cuts and salami. 

Cheeses that go well with Super Tuscan Blends include Asiago, Fontina, Grana Padano, Mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Provolone, Ricotta, Taleggio and such sheep-milk cheeses as Pecorino Romano and Pecorino Toscana.