Wine pairings for Paccheri allo Scoglio
This is my kind of dish. I love eating everything that lives in the water, be it salt or fresh. My first thought was to prepare this dish with a wine aged under the sea, but I’ve only heard of one Italian doing so. Pierluigi Lugano’s wines are imported, including a Glera (fka Prosecco) Frizzante, but I haven’t found his under-the-sea bubbly here yet. Worry not. Many a bianco will do, and Piero’s Bisson and its Ligurian neighbors provide many a perfect bottle for this dish. In particular, I like historically seafaring area’s Pigato wines for seafood.
Starting at the leaner end of the spectrum, there is Bisson’s Pigato. At 12.5% abv, it is lightly herbal, rather floral and brightly acidic. Not far away is Antonio Basso’s Durin Winegrowing Farm, where Pigato is grown on the steep slopes that dive into the Mediterranean. This version tends to be a bit riper with full-fledged citrus and melon flavors. Then, there’s Bruna, which almost exclusively focuses on Pigato. The Villa Torrachetta, Le Russeghine and U Baccan bottlings are all delicious (and much more concentrated than the others), and one of the last two might just be the Holy Grail of Pigato.
By the way, if you like Vermentino or Favorita, you’ll like Pigato…because they are all the same grape! Though it’s found far and wide, Vermentino’s origins are still mysterious. It has been said to have come from Spain, Greece and the Middle East, but no evidence exists whatsoever. So far, its earliest mention is in vineyard records from Piedmont dating back to 1658. Stay tuned.
Whatever you pair with this week’s Sunday Pasta, be sure to stay away from red wines. Their tannins have a curious way of making seafood taste metallic. I would even stay away from most rosato wines as Italians love their tannins and rosés often have a bit.
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)
p.s. Check out our recipe for Paccheri allo Scoglio.