Wine pairings for Gnocchi con Zucchini
This dish looks like it pairs the best of summer veggies with a bit of summer decadence with those pillowy gnocchi. Those petite pasta balls will take some time to make, so selecting the wine should be easy so you can focus your attention on the kitchen rather than the cellar.
The first element in pairing here is the weight of the gnocchi. The zucchini might suggest lighter wines, but the gnocchi require a bit more stuffing. Medium-bodied is the way to go. The second thing to consider, as I so often write, is the use of new oak. This dish is about fresh, lively, clean flavors. Save the oaked wines for another Sunday Pasta. Finally, since almost everyone migrates to the shorelines and warm, sunshiny places this time of year, it seems fitting to look at wines from Italy’s southern regions.
Two whites to consider are Librandi Greco Cirò Bianco and Odoardi Scavigna. The Librandi wine is made entirely from Greco, a grape that makes perfumed wines loaded with peaches and apricots. The Scavigna is a real kitchen sink kind of wine, split between 30% Chardonnay, 20% Greco Bianco, 20% Pinot Bianco, 15% Riesling, 10% Malvasia and 5% Trebbiano. It’s interesting, too, because while almost all of the varieties will be familiar to guests, its appellation won’t be. Scavigna is a DOC (Denomination of Controlled Origin) whose grapes are grown high in the hills of western Calabria along with two other little-known DOCs called Savuto and Lamezia.
On the rosé side, Scala and Argiolas make delicious possibilities. Scala’s Gaglioppo Cirò Rosato is another monovarietal wine, this time made from 100% Gaglioppo in Calabria. It’s aromatic and fresh, and the grape’s name is fun to say three times fast after drinking a few glasses! Argiolas makes the Serra Lori Isola dei Nuraghi, an enticing blend of local, somewhat-hard-to-pronounce Sardinian grapes: Cannonau, Monica, Carignano, Bovale Sardo. This, too, wears serious perfume, a bit like a tropical garden overlooking the sea.
Before you race to the grocery store or to your favorite online wine specialist, remember that Ed makes an important note at the end of the recipe: “…sprinkle with Bottarga OR Parmigiano (not both).” While any of these wines will ultimately taste fine with white or rosato, I’d slightly prefer the bigger flavor of the rosato wines with bottarga.
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)
p.s. Check out our recipe for Gnocchi con Zucchini.