Wine pairings for Penne al Cavolo Nero
Kale is a vegetable with an attitude, so it needs a wine to match. Many of Italy’s southern wines are up for the job, especially wines made from native Puglian grapes.
Many wine lovers think wines from Italy’s south are heavy or overly alcoholic or both. But, that is quite unfair. Here are a few wines to sample to consider otherwise.
First, there is the Palamà Metiusco Salento Rosso. Though based on Negroamaro, there is a wallop of Malvasia Nera – a highly aromatic and rather floral variety – that makes for an easier drinking wine that nonetheless stands up to this densely flavored dish. This wine has satisfying weight, present – but not unruly – tannin and refreshing acidity.
Second and third on the list are two wines from the producer Fatalone. The younger of the two is the IGT, Primitivo Teres. The older is the Gioia dei Colle Primitivo Riserva. Both are juicy and rich in mouthfeel, but neither is heavy. Their tannins are smooth, yet sharp enough to cut through the density of the pasta.
Were it my dinner, I’d buy one of each – the Metiusco for the cooking phase of the evening, the Terres for the arrival of the guests and the Riserva for the main course. Granted, each is delicous enough that if you have more than four at your table, you should certainly buy at least two bottles of each.
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)
p.s. Check out our recipe for Penne al Cavolo Nero.