Wine pairings for Orecchiette con Radicchio e Salsiccia
Radicchio is tricky for wine pairing. It’s brilliant for this pasta because it brings balance to the juicy, nicely fatty sausage. However, after cleansing the palate of the bite of pasta, it can obliterate the wine. So, best to pair like with like and go with a wine that – either in white or in red – has some tannin to match the radicchio’s astringency. Also, lightly tannic wines with medium body – rather than light – will resonate best as the salsiccia definitely adds weight.
A great, if non-conventional, approach is orange wines. While made from white grapes, they resemble red wines with their pithy tannins, reinforced with white wine-like acidity. Whether they are a single variety or a blend, the principle idea is that the grapes are fermented on the skins. Typically, white wine is pressed, then the skins are removed. The skins add aroma and structure when vinified with the juice.
Though these wines would seem to be white wines, don’t serve them too cold. If habit prevails, put them in the fridge, then set them on the counter 20-30 minutes before serving in order to maintain the maximum flavor and minimal tannic astringency.
Check out our recipe for Orecchiette con Radicchio e Salsiccia.
Master of Wine (MW)