Right wine will make your bean soup even better

Credit: Bill Hogan

Credit: Bill Hogan

This dish is rustic and hearty, and its bold flavors demand a wine that can stand up to them. To complement the soup’s rich, sweet and savory flavors, you could try this sangiovese from California, this barbera from Italy or this grenache from France. All of them bring enough fruit and the right aromatics to make the soup even better.



Slice 2 links Italian sausage down the middle lengthwise; brown both sides in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Transfer to a board; cut into 1/4-inch half moons. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to Dutch oven. Add 1 onion, chopped, and 1 each poblano chile and red bell pepper, seeded, chopped; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Pour in 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained, rinsed, and 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth; stir in sliced sausage. Cook until heated through. Serve topped with crema. Makes: 4 servings

Recipe by Joe Gray


Pairings by sommelier Alan Beasey of The Purple Pig, as told to Michael Austin:

2014 Caparone Sangiovese, Paso Robles, California: This wine has aromas of bright red fruit balanced by savory herbs and a hint of sweet balsamic, which will enhance the spices and herbs in the sausage. Also, the wine's juicy, sweet fruit will pair nicely with the sweet onions and peppers in the dish.

2015 Scarpetta Barbera del Monferrato, Piedmont, Italy: Herbs and fennel aromas in this wine will complement the sausage, while beautiful fruit flavors of sweet blueberries and tangy blackberries will enhance the onions and peppers. The wine also offers a hint of minerality and a nice bit of food-friendly acidity.

 2013 Domaine Gramenon Les Laurentides, Cotes du Rhone, France: This 100 percent grenache offers aromas of fennel and rosemary, which are echoed in the sausage. There's also plummy, rich fruit that will meld nicely with the beans and peppers. And hints of mocha and vanilla will enhance the soup's finishing dollop of crema.

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