Wine pairings for Cavatelli con Broccoli
Broccoli is an unenviable vegetable to pair with wine, not too far removed from the challenges of asparagus and artichoke. Happily, the savory elements of this pasta dominate and direct the possible wine pairing combinations. If you’ve been following this column the last few weeks, you’ll see that this savory theme is not uncommon in Italian food and wine pairing.
In classic Italian thinking, the fact the heart of the dish – the pasta – hails from Southern Italy takes me right to the bottom of “the boot” in search of a beverage companion. I’m not thinking white as there is no meat except for the chicken-based stock, but reds and rosatos are stronger point of the south unless you consider the islands. Winter is a transition period for rosatos (from the prior to the most recent vintage), so I’m leaning toward red. The reds of the peninsula have lots of gusto from all their body, tannin and acid, so my taste-buds sail west to Sicily for some Nero d’Avola and Cerasuolo. These wines have just the right acidity to juxtapose the pasta and plenty of juiciness to play up to the sprightly-ness of the broccoli while echoing the earthiness of the garlic and Parmesan.
My favorite producers of Sicilian reds, especially Nero d’Avola and Cerasuolo di Vittoria, include Calabretta, Passopisciaro, Santa Anastasia and Occhipinti. In general, I think almost all US imports from the Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOC are generally outstanding.
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)
p.s. Check out our recipe for Cavatelli con Broccoli .