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Dinner Tonite: Panzanella & Vermentino

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Panzanella, that rustic Tuscan bread salad we have all come to love, is ideal during the summer months, when tomatoes are at their peak. But weather-wise, at least, it is always summer in Miami, and panzanella with wine makes a light and refreshing meal any time of year. Or so say the folks at Antinori wines, who further describe the salad thusly: "In typical Tuscan style, panzanella is made in the morning and allowed to sit and soak up the flavors. By the time guests arrive, or it's time for dinner, there is nothing to do but enjoy the fare." The wine company also offers a rather informal recipe:

Dampen day-old bread cubes with cold water, squeeze well, and crumble into a bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of vinegar.
Mix damp bread with diced tomatoes, sliced onion and basil. Dress with vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

And you know what wines would really go well with a panzanella salad? Light to medium bodied aromatic whites such as these two from Antinori (probably just a coincidence): Guado al Tasso Vermentino 2008 from Bolgheri (straw-colored, medium-bodied, intensely aromatic, made from 100% Vermentino grapes; $25); and the less expensive and slightly lighter Villa Antinori Bianco 2008 from Tuscany (fresh, soft, made from a blend of Trebbiano, Malvasia, Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Grigio grapes; $13).

We're just passing along the suggestion in case you needed an idea for dinner tonight.

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