Wine Pairings for Anelli al Forno
Rosso: Santa Anastasia Nerello Mascalese and Tenuta di Fessina Erse Etna Rosso
This staunchly Sicilian pasta will put sunshine in your tummy on a cold winter night. So will the wines I recommend to accompany it! The beef and pork provide ample richness that needs to be matched by the wine. The wines I’ve chosen are medium to full in body with supporting – but not high – acidity. The reds, however, have grippy tannins that make them more palate-cleansing and put them over the edge as my preferred choice of the two colors for this dish.
The two white wines I’ve picked come from a producer, Feudi del Pisciotto, located near the heart of the island of Sicily. Between these two wines you have a trio of classic, autochthonous grapes: Inzolia, Catarrato and Grillo. Both wines are generously fruited from the Mediterranean sun, yet decidedly savory; both attributes suit this pasta well. The Baglio del Sole is a blend of Catarrato and Inzolia. This bottling is a little lighter in body and its flavors are subtler, blending in nicely with the pasta. The Carolina Marengo Grillo packs more character – showing not only more weight but also a lingering finish. This wine mimics the pasta’s weight perfectly, but it’s almost as if it wants to show it’s a food group in its own right!
The two reds work similarly to the whites with regard to their fruit-filled yet mineral character. Both are full-bodied, but the Erse Etna Rosso is the bigger hitter. Nerello Mascalese is the major black grape variety here; the Santa Anastasia bottling is varietal while the Tenuta di Fessina wine incorporates 20% of Nerello Cappuccio. The wines are both made in stainless steel, so there are no non-grape influences (like chocolate or toast) at work here – just black fruit, lightly tingling tannins and mouth-watering acidity.
If these wines aren’t available in your wine store, go for almost any wine made from these grapes or from other native Sicilian varieties. The Sicilian spirit of the pasta and the wines will make a fine match!
p.s. Check out our recipe for Anelli al Forno.
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)