A Glug of Oil

Easy and delicious recipes including midweek dinner ideas, and world cuisine.

Pasta and Wine - The Perfect Combinations

For many Italians, just as you would never eat dry pasta, the idea of eating any pasta dish without wine is unwelcome.

Wine with cheese and pasta on a table

Image by Rene Pixabay

A bottle of fine wine and there are plenty of fine wines from supermarkets to choose from these days, complements pasta far better than fizzy juice and other alcoholic drinks such as beer.
It doesn’t have to be a lot; one glass can be enough.

But which wine to choose? There are no iron rules, but here are some recommendations, for accompanying five popular dishes.

Spaghetti con Pomodoro e basilica: 

This simple classic of a tomato and basil sauce, sprinkled with parmesan, is served best alongside a white carrying something to match the acidic quality of the tomato.

Sticking to Italy, a light Frascati is an excellent choice for its citrusy and apple elements.

Fusilli con zucchini e gamberetti:
A creamy sauce with courgettes and prawns, this is one of the best seafood pasta dishes for quick cooking without the work of dealing with shellfish.

A lunchtime favourite, it has a smooth flavour and works well again with an easy-drinking, dry white wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc.

Tagliatelle con polpettini e salsa di pomodoro:
The general rule with richer, meatier pasta sauces is that they need to be matched by a wine with stronger flavourings.

A meatball dish made with either beef mince, pork, or veal and plenty of herbs with tomato sauce, a rich red such as a San Giovese is a great choice.
Tuscan vineyards tend to use this grape, and a Brunello will serve you well.

For an alternative, go to Argentina which not surprisingly given its meat tradition has many fine stronger reds. One made from the Malbec grape would do well.

Pasta con salsiccia picante:
A spicy sausage pasta, as with its cousin the pizza, has an unmistakeable flavour but one that puts the palette’s sensitivity in some jeopardy.

To counter this, you should combine it with a crisp, distinctly fruity red.
Two great examples are the Nebbiolo wines produced in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy or a Rioja.

Aged for up to four years in oak barrels, the tannins from the wood invest these wines with plenty of bite.

Pasta al pesto:
A simple and much-loved dish, the basil and pine nuts in the classic ‘Pesto Genovese’ is best complemented by a simple, crisp white such as a Pinot Grigio, perfect for bringing out the nutty flavours in the dish.

These are only suggestions, and for each of the dishes, there is more than one alternative if you stick to the general principles.

Above all, have fun experimenting. Buon appetito!

No comments

Post a Comment

I love to hear from everyone so thanks for taking the time to comment. Please note comments containing links will NOT be published.