Wine Pairings for Orecchiette con la Rucola (Arugula)

Wine Pairings for Orecchiette con la Rucola

Bianco: Castello Monaci Salento Simera
Rosato: Agricole Vallone Vigna Flaminio Brindisi Rosato
Rosso: Castel di Salve Lama Del Tenente Salento Rosso and Racemi Anarkos Puglia Rosso

I always look forward to learning something from Ed when I read about a Sunday Pasta. Ed is a rich resource on the foods of Italy, but I was surprised today when he taught me about an Italian amaro, rucolino. I’d never heard of this beverage, but now that I have, I’ve already spent 20 minutes trying to find some in the US. No luck yet.

Though I’ve not tasted it, the one thing I am absolutely sure about rucolino is that I wouldn’t pair it with this pasta. Instead, I’d look to the wines of Puglia, where the recipe finds its roots.

For a vino bianco, I would pick Castello Monaci Salento Simera. This blend of Chardonnay and Verdeca is not particularly aromatic. That will let the fragrance of the pasta dominate the table. The wine is, however, very juicy and ripe. That suppleness will sweep away the bitterness of the rucola.

For a rosato, Agricole Vallone’s Vigna Flaminio Brindisi Rosato would be my go-to. Don’t be surprised – this wine is so deeply flushed that it almost looks more like a red wine. The aromas are full of crunchy red fruits and herbal scents. These thyme and rosemary notes will match up brilliantly with the green leaves in the pasta.

Lastly, for a rosso, I’d pick a wine with supple tannins so that I don’t risk over-emphasizing the bitterness of the rucola. Two wines that fit that bill are Castel di Salve’s Lama Del Tenente Salento Rosso and Racemi’s Anarkos Puglia Rosso. Both of these are blends of local grapes that deliver a juicy mid-palate, mild tannins and nice licorice and green tea notes that tie in with the rucola.

By the way, if anyone finds a bottle of rucolino around, please let me know!

Check out our recipe for Orecchiette con la Rucola.

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

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