Wine pairings for Cavatelli con Salciccia, Burro e Salvia
This wintry Sunday, we aim to warm you from the inside out. This hearty Sunday Pasta can pair up beside some big wines – bigger than usual for my Sunday Pasta pairings. In fact, a touch of oak – which I usually warn against – won’t hurt here. Mind you, just a touch will do! Most Italian white wines are lean to medium in body, and while there are certainly a few that could work, reds will pair best.
Sausage is the key ingredient. It not only fattens up this dish, it wallops it with flavor. In my book, there’s nothing like a good, gamey Syrah to harmonize with salciccia. Having scanned through my notes and chosen a few Syrah, I realized I had inadvertently chosen three from Sicily. Each, however, interprets Syrah in its own way.
The Sallier de la Tour Syrah La Monaca is the easiest going of the three. It’s also the least expensive. The Tasca d’Almerita team works with this property, and they deliver solid value for varietal typicity and money. The property lies southwest of Palermo and northwest of Corleone. Thank goodness there is something low key from this intense, dark corner of the island!
The Alessandro di Camporeale Kaid hails from the same neighborhood. This winery claims that Syrah is the most Sicilian of international grape varieties planted on the island. The Alessandro brothers are heavily invested in Syrah, having first planted it in 1989 and bottling their Syrah Riserva exclusively in magnums. This wine is internationally styled but true to its variety and judiciously oaked.
Finally, I chose the Montecarrubo Rosso. This Syrah is grown on the other side of the island, southeast of Modica. The wine is young, big, brooding and complex. Its high-toned herbal notes will work magic with this dish’s sage accents. You could buy a case of this wine and drink one bottle – or two – each winter for a decade when you make this Sunday Pasta.
Christy Canterbury. Master of Wine (MW)