Wine Pairings for Malfadine con Crema di Ceci (Chickpeas)

Wine Pairings for Malfadine con Crema di Ceci

Bianco: Antoniolo Erbaluce di Caluso, Ferrando Erbaluce di Caluso La Torrazza, Orsolani Erbaluce di Caluso, Cieck Erbaluce di Caluso

Rosso: Crivelli Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato, Sant’Agata Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato Pro Nobis, Cascina Tavijn Ruchè

For this subtle SundayPasta®, acidity and aromatics are key.  My picks are the less-well-known but utterly delightful Piemontese grapes Erbaluce and Ruchè. Both of these varieties make bright, refreshing wines with distinctive personalities.

Erbaluce brims with spring flowers, minerals, citronella (not the chemical outdoor candle stuff!) and peach fuzz. Its most famous variation is a passito wine, but the variety is making a comeback as a dry white. Antoniolo, known for its textbook Gattinara, makes a wonderful example. One of the easiest to find here, however, is surely the Ferrando Erbaluce di Caluso La Torrazza. Right behind that trails Orsolani’s wine. I love the Cieck bottlings, too, but you’ll have to pick those up back in the home country. Alas.

Ruchè may have been imported to Piedmont from Burgundy in the 18th century, but its provenance is unclear. The Ruchè in my glass right now is Crivelli’s Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato. It’s a delicious mingling of fragrant roses, ripe plums and mulberries with an underlying earthiness. I also enjoy year in and year out Sant’Agata’s Ruchè as well Tavijn’s bottling. There is a Pinot Noir-like finesse and dignity in all these wines.

I hope you track down these cool varieties and enjoy them both!

Cin cin!
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)
Wine Editor

P.s. Check out our recipe for Malfadine con Crema di Ceci and our About post to learn more about chickpeas.

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