Ah, Tuscany. Until I went and discovered for myself what a gastronomic paradise this place is, I was sceptical: could such a perfect combination of idyllic medieval hill-top towns, sublime red wine and refined-rustic cooking really be possible, or was it just the invention of generations of romantic poets, filmmakers and marketing men? This classically Tuscan dish is exactly what you'll find in one of the country restaurants outside Siena, in the southern part of the Chianti zone - imagine opening a very fine sangiovese from a local vineyard at the beginning of the meal, dispatching a few of these crostini to take the edge off your hunger (you've probably been up since dawn foraging for porcini) and then moving on to some truffle-sauced pasta followed by a juicy Chianina bistecca, all washed down with the medium-bodied yet perfectly savoury red wine. Heaven. Sangiovese works so well with this kind of food because it has - when it's good - just the right balance of fruit (not too heavy, not too light) and drying tannins (assertive but not tongue-thumping). Luckily, Australia produces a few topnotch sangioveses that wouldn't be out of place in such a setting with such a meal.
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