Sunday, February 16, 2014

Lambrusco di Sorbara and Cotechino ~ An Existential Dilemma

I struggle with pork. If there is a plate of prosciutto nearby, I’m in trouble. “Waste nothing,” the angel whispers in my ear. And then I clean the plate, when nobody is looking. I never find out if the angel was a good one or a bad one until it’s too late.

The problem is, pork wasn’t made for me. I struggle to digest it. I really like it. Sometimes. And then, sometimes I’d rather just have a bowl of lentils. The 1970’s vegetarian sends messages into the future, warning me of all the things we were warned about back then.

A week ago, during a particularly demanding work period and in a moment of frigid, icy temperatures, on my way from work I stopped and bought a load of pork. Went home, cooked it up, slow, until it was a Dutch oven full of melt-in-your-mouth pork goodness. I ate three times more than I should have. And was sick for three days. I should have come home and had a glass of Lambrusco and gone to bed. Live and learn. Again and again.

I never learned about the mystical connection between Cotechino and Sorbara. Sorbara, the "lighter" Lambrusco. The wine that cannot sit in my fridge for more than a day. The Lambrusco with which I never have enough around. If there are two bottles, we needed three. You feel me, dawg?

I’m thinking about Sorbara for tonight. There is a reception at a pizzeria here in town. The judges, who are available, from the Dallas Morning News Wine Competition, are to assemble at this humble little place. It’s a BYOB situation. I had three bottles of Sorbara set aside. Now there are two. They will come with me.

First, though, Cotechino.

I really never knew much about this food. We never saw it in our house. It was only when I was above Rome that it came out to the table. I think I was in Parma or Modena when I was enlightened. But it was in Friuli where I was anointed. We were eating some fresh cotechino in a cold warehouse; all the while next door several pigs were living out their last moments on earth. They were struggling with humans.

The whole place smelled like blood. The cotechino was seamless with the disposition of the experience. But the Sorbara was hundreds of miles away. Barred from entering this foreign region.

I’m not here to explain cotechino. There are plenty of places to find that information. What I cannot talk enough about is the hold that Sorbara has on me. It is like the one wine that I find works with almost anything. Pizza, duh. Fish, no problem. Standing rib roast? Yes it can. Cheese? Which kind? Short answer? Yes. Thai, Mexican, BBQ, vegetarian. DOP lentils from Sicily? In my world, hell yes. But even if there is no food around, so what? The only problem, as I said, is there is never enough.

I’m conflicted with eating pigs. And my genetic traits send me messages when I cross over and indulge a little too freely. “Stick to cheese and chocolate,” the inner sentinels advise, for my addictions (and, of course, Sorbara). “Leave pork to those who can handle it.”

All good advice. You all can take all the Cotechino you can carry. Just don’t touch my Sorbara.

My choice: Cleto Chiarli Vecchia Modena Premium Lambrusco di Sorbara

wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W


Anonymous said...

@Enofaber Cotechino and Sorbara – An Existential Dilemma: … via @italianwineguy

Mark Scudiery said...

Alfonso I'm with you with Lambrusco and pork. Next time you are in NYC try Via Emilia on E21st. Food and wine Emilia-Romagna.

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