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Matt Cole
April 12, 2012 | Food Pairings, Italy, Red Wine, Sangiovese | Matt Cole

Braised Chicken Thighs with Toscana Rosso

We love Tuscany, and the regions's signature Sangiovese is one of the most food-friendly grapes out there. Whether a wine is 100% Sangiovese or blended with another variety such as Merlot, great food pairing options are abundant. With hundreds of Tuscan producers and wines to choose from, Rosso di Montalcino is a good place to start to find something reliable and budget friendly. These wines are great options while waiting for Montalcino's flagship and age-worthy wines, Brunello di Montalcino, to be realized and ready to drink.  Uccelliera is one of the most notable Montalcino producers, making some of the most age worthy and collectable wines in the region. It is located in the south of the Castelnuovo dell’Abate part of Montalcino, and all of their vineyard work is done by hand.

The limited Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino 2009 has the same flavor profile and structure as its older sibling, but it is simpler, fresh, and more immediately approachable. Medium red in color, this wine offers dark fruit aromas of black cherries and cassis intermingled with some smoke and tobacco, with a balanced finish and interlaced tannins. It's a great example of the style of wine coming from Southern Montalcino, and it complements meats especially, from salumi to steak to burgers.

Another great choice is Fattoria Rodano's Toscana Poggialupi 2010, a delicious blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot, from Castellina in the heart of the Chianti Classico district. It's an outstanding value at only $11.89 with our feature discount.  

For a great pairing with either wine (or both!), I have made Braised Chicken Thighs with a Rich Mushroom Roasting Sauce.  It is delicious, simple, and uses only one pan.


  • 4lbs bone-in Chicken Thighs
  • 1lb sliced Mushrooms (i.e. Button, Crimini, Shiitake)
  • 3 Minced Shallots
  • 3 Cloves Smashed Garlic
  • Half Bottle of Marsala or Perez Barquero Gran Barquero Fino Sherry (only $11.99 and tastes great)
  • 2 Sprigs of Thyme
  • 1 Sprig of Rosemary


  • First pour yourself a glass of wine!
  • Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
  • Pat dry chicken and season liberally with salt and pepper. Sear skin side down in an oven proof skillet until golden and crispy. Remove from pan.
  • Use the rendered fat to sauté mushroom until browned; if not enough fat add olive oil.
  • Add the shallots and garlic and sauté together until the shallots are clear.
  • Add thyme sprigs and wine.
  • Place the chicken back in the pan skin side up and roast in the oven for 30-45 minutes.
  • Enjoy! 


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