Drunken octopus and Chianti wine tasting
Drunken octopus is a typical Florentine dish rich in flavor, let’s see together what kind of wine we can taste with this wonderful dish.
It is finally midsummer and Tuscany (and especially Chianti Classico) seems like the perfect destination to spend a long weekend while waiting for the August vacations.
Medieval towns and small villages, art and history at every turn.
The locals, the conviviality, and those summer evenings that give us some respite from the summer heat.
Everything of course seems perfect.
What is that one thing that can make your vacation even more perfect?
TourTuscany.com recommends a special dish paired with a special wine.
Let’s start our journey
Everyone ready? Get comfortable and let’s see what it’s all about!
The idea of this food and wine pairing is to combine the typical chianti wine tasting with something special and not usual.
So here we present the Drunken Octopus.
Drunken octopus (or as it is called in Florence octopus briaco, briaho or briao) is a typical second course of Florentine cuisine, a traditional recipe that has its origins in the tradition of a place rich in historical and gastronomic culture.
It is a recipe that is much more than a simple main course, in fact it can be served as a single dish with croutons of bread that will be softened by the cooking juices, cut into very small pieces it is an excellent topping for bruschetta, but it can also be used to dress a pasta dish or even served cold as a salad.
The birth of this funny name
Drunken octopus is so called precisely because of the type of cooking method used; in fact, the octopus is lightly browned in oil and then cooked in red wine. The ingredients used for this recipe are few, and like all recipes of this kind, for the recipe to be successful, it is essential that they are all fresh and of excellent quality. In this case you will need a fresh octopus with firm flesh and good red wine, such as Barbera or a Chianti Classico.
In our opinion the wine that will stand out the most in this dish is definitely a high altitude Sangiovese.
Let’s face it, the wines of Radda in Chianti lend themselves particularly well to this purpose.
The Wineries of Chianti Raddese
Have you ever taken a trip through the wineries of Chianti Raddese?
Well if you are not familiar with this expression of Sangiovese Chianti Classico we will tell you about it.
Imagine wines with overwhelming freshness, a beautiful tension that turns into elegance.
Tannins that are important certainly but that are presented with class tell you about what the territory of Radda in Chianti is all about.
Vertical wines, fresh, fine and elegant.
Which tell you about those high altitude vineyards, which tell you about those vintners who with wisdom have taken care of this sangiovese to give you the best possible expression of Chianti Classico.
So imagine the savoriness of octopus combined with the elgance of these wines in a symphony of infinite flavors.
Chianti Classico 2015 Fattoria di Montemaggio: Sangiovese di Alta Quota.
In particular, the wine we recommend with this recipe is the 2015 Chianti Classico from Fattoria di Montemaggio.
Wine that is coming out on the market now, which has therefore taken its time to be able to mature.
Wine ready to be drunk now, on the threshold of its seventh year of life.
Pale ruby red, slightly garnet on the rim.
On the nose it presents itself with hints of very delicate ripe red fruit, violets, earthy notes, beautiful spice that tells us about the aging in large barrels of about two years and finally a very light note of leather peeps out.
In the mouth it is very elegant, with extreme finesse, clean and precise.
A very clean sip that transports.
Beautiful the tension it reveals to us, this wonderful acidity.
Beautiful spacing on the finish.
Instead, let us now analyze the recipe, so that we can understand together, step by step, how to prepare this marvel of Typical Tuscan Cuisine.
Ingredients drunken octopus for 2 people
– 1 octopus of about 1 kg
– 2 glasses of a good red wine (Barbera or Chianti or according to preference)
– 2 cloves of garlic
– 1/2 onion
– 3 bay leaves
– 1 small piece of chili pepper
– extra virgin olive oil (I use organic extra virgin olive oil)
Preparing drunken octopus
Clean the octopus: remove the guts contained in the pouch, the eyes, and the central beak. Leave the skin and suckers behind.
Next, place the octopus on the cutting board.
If it was not beaten against the rocks at the time of fishing , do so now with a meat tenderizer so as to break down the fibrous parts and make it more tender (the cork is a hoax)
After the Octopus has been beaten.
Wash it well under running water and cut it into
At this point cut it into pieces.
In the meantime, take a nice pan, preferably ceramic, and add some extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic ( Fattoria di Montemaggio extra virgin olive oil)
Add your extra virgin olive oil to the pan at this point.
Then add the garlic, onion and chopped chili pepper with the bay leaves to the pan as well
When the garlic, onion, bay leaves and chili pepper are in the pan they should be gently browned without browning too much
after which you will need to add your octopus.
You will then need to cook it a little so that it releases its water
When it has released its cooking water,. cook a little in its cooking water and then add the two glasses of wine and, if that is not enough, a little water
Post-adding wine to the octopus
Put the lid on and cook on low heat for about 1 1/2 hours or more (depending on the octopus)
So, allow the cooking liquid to withdraw slowly
You will then observe the octopus cooking liquid shrinking
Until you have a nice tightened sauce and the octopus is soft
Your Drunken Octopus is almost cooked
At the end of the cooking time, add the chopped parsley and adjust the salt if necessary
Now it is time to add parsley to the octopus
Here, then, is your drunken octopus ready!
You can serve it in a small ceramic bowl as per tradition and
Accompany it, if you like, with a few slices of lightly roasted bread
Now all you have to do is approach this wonderful pairing and enjoy your perfect summer evening.