Wine pairings for Bigoli in Salsa Veneta
Anchovies pack punch. They frequently take over dishes, and that is the point of this one, especially as the olives highlight them with an additional layer of acidity and salt. Bianci and rosati are their best match because the tannins of rossi combine with anchovies’ super-saline qualities to create a hard mouthfeel. To achieve a best-of-category pairing, stick to light-bodied, high-acid wines from the northern end of “the boot” with no new oak to let this dish shine its brightest.
High-acid white wines with strong minerality highlight the saline qualities of the anchovies. The impressive chalkiness of Gavi is a great flavor match and texture match. The mineral character of Gavi will underscore the marine qualities of the anchovies and match their slightly spiny/bony character, too.
In the rosato category, don’t be afraid to go for a deeply-colored wine. Chances are such a wine will have the generous fruit to contrast the pungency of the anchovies. All Italian wines made from black grape varieties tend to have plenty of tannins – including rosatos, so a fruitier rosato will create a softer feel on the palate. Do be sure to choose a dry rosé as any wines with residual sugar will create a cloying and icky palate experience with this dish.
Check out our recipe for Bigoli in Salsa Veneta.
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)