"My favorite food pairing for Octagon"

From our winemaker, Luca Paschina

We bid farewell to Summer by welcoming Autumn and the new harvest. And nothing celebrates another vintage in the cellar quite like a bottle of Octagon. Our best hope for this wine is that our flagship red blend goes directly from cellar to table where it belongs amongst family, friends, and a sumptuous meal. Thus, we share with you a favorite accompaniment to Octagon: 

Licorice Glazed Rack of Lamb

I discovered this recipe when a guest chef visited us from Valtellina, where Nebbiolo is cultivated to excellence in Lombardia. At Lanterna Verde, a Michelin 1-star restaurant in northern Italy near the Swiss border, lamb is finished with a brushing of liquirizia, a glaze made from Calabrian licorice sourced in southern Italy. I was so enamored with this preparation, that I introduced it on a few important occasions including the 40th anniversary of our Estate and the 20th anniversary of Palladio Restaurant.

The richness of lamb combined with the bittersweetness of licorice glaze (reminiscent of anise or fennel) provides a striking pairing with Octagon. We like a pan-seared and oven-finished rack of lamb, but leg or loin chop work nicely - and goat is beautiful, too. Prepare a preferred cut as desired (seared, roasted, grilled). Once the meat is finished and rested for a few minutes, brush your licorice paste over the top of it, and serve with roasted potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and a bottle of Octagon.

To prepare the glaze:

Add 20g of licorice Calabrian liquirizia pellets to 2 oz water. Simmer at low heat while stirring constantly until licorice is melted into a smooth, thick paste. Leftover paste will firm-up and keep nicely in the refrigerator to be warmed and used again later.

You can substitute with other licorice, as long as  it is pure, unsweetened and without added flavoring.

Buon appetito e Salute!