Wine Pairings for Cavatelli al Ragu di Salciccia
Cavatelli is a pasta whose origins trace back to southern Italy. Aglianico is a grape variety that grows almost exclusively in southern Italy – and in the volicanic soils of Campania and Basilicata in particular. Hence it makes the perfect, regionally-oriented match for this week’s robust pasta.
Aglianico is a black grape variety that gives wines an inky color, prodigious tannins and marked acidity. However, depending on the touch of the winemaker, the grape can be tamed into a less beastly version of its proudest, longest-aging styles. Since it’s pretty much unheard of to find an old Aglianico on most wine store shelves in the US, whose tannins would have retreated with time, we’re in luck to have these early-drinking styles available to us.
Cantine del Notaio is arguably Basilicata’s best winery. This is a winery passed down through a dedicated wine-growing family that works diligently to faithfully express the origin of Aglianico grown in its volcanic and tufo (calcareous clay) soils. Cantine del Notaio makes a wide range of wines from Aglianico with its rosato and rossi all 100% Aglianico. If rosato seems too light for the call of hearty pasta on a cold winter night, the Rosato il Rogito will surprise you. Its deeply flushed color should be one of your first clues! One hundred percent Aglianico, it’s a rosato for red wine drinkers. Still, it will surely satisfy those who generally slake their thirst with white wine while complimenting the dish. For the reds, the L’Atto Rosso and the Aglianico del Vulture Il Repertorio work wonders here. These, too, are made with 100% Aglianico, and they are aged in old barriques, which impart no oak flavors to the wine. This allows the generosity of the pasta’s savory characters to shine.
I hope you enjoy the Cantine del Notaio wines – or another Aglianico-based wine from the south – with your Sunday Pasta!
Christy Canterbury,Master of Wine (MW)