Wine Pairings for Fettuccine Alfredo
White Wine: Chardonnay, especially from St. Michael-Eppan “Sanct Valentin” from Alto Adige and Planeta from Sicily
Fettuccine Alfredo is an American favorite just like Chardonnay. The bond between this dish and this wine is the underlying buttery character of the dish that is commonly found in Chardonnay-based wines. Contrary to the opinion of many imbibers who believe that Chardonnay the grape tastes like butter and cream, it is in fact the winemaking that changes the taste of the grape to produce the frequently creamy mid-palate and sometimes buttery nose of Chardonnay.
To get techy for a brief moment, this winemaking process is called malolactic fermentation and it converts crisp malic acid to creamy lactic acid. Wine folks often make the classic comparison between the crisp acidity of a green apple versus the very low acidity of whole milk. The result of malolactic fermentation (MLF) is a wine that tastes creamy and feels round on the middle of the palate while sometimes smelling like butter.
Given that Chardonnay comes in all shapes and sizes, I’m proposing two for your Fettuccino Triplo Burro – one from the mountains of Alto Adige and one from the island of Sicily. Both wines will show the subtle apple and pear fruit of Chardonnay. The mountain climate of Alto Adige will give the St. Michael-Eppan Sanct Valentin Chardonnay a crisper edge to the wine while the definitively Mediterranean climate of Sicily will add tropical fruit notes to that wine. The lightly leaner fruit of the St. Michael-Eppan will support less oak, so this will be the wine for those preferring a lighter style of Chardonnay that nonetheless wears some oak. The Planeta is a full-blown, indulgently oaky Chardonnay with lots of vanilla and spice notes.
Whichever your choice, your wine will marry well to your pasta.
Christy A. Canterbury, Wine Editor.