Wine pairings for Paccheri con Pesce Spada
This Sunday Pasta will pair equally well with white and red wines. While the tomatoes give the dish a bit of sweetness, the olives – along with the meaty qualities of the swordfish – will dominate with savoriness. Wines with a strong mineral influence will work best here. Falanghina as a white and Lacrima di Morra d’Alba as a red will be good picks.
Falanghina is a very old variety thought to have been part of the composition of Falernian, the most heralded white wine of ancient Rome. Though the wines back then were on the sweeter side, today they are decidedly dry. This variety is almost exclusively found in Campania, north of the city of Naples. Citrus aromas and stone fruit flavors dominate and keep the wine feeling lean on the palate while smokey notes enhance this variety’s savoriness. Just about any Falanghina will work as long as it is unoaked. I like Cantine Farro’s and Villa Matilde’s versions. The Villa Matilde tends to be a bit more fruit forward if you prefer your whites a bit plumper.
Lacrima di Morro d’Alba comes from the Marche, on the other side of “the boot”. Lacrima means “tear,”,and the variety is thought to have been given this name because it leaks droplets when it is fully ripe. Not quite as ancient as Falanghina, it has still been around the block a few times having first been mentioned in writing in the eighteenth century. This variety produces massively fragranced wines packed with wild berries, plums and roses. Romagnoli’s Barbarossa and Lucchetti’s classico bottlings are good bets. Lacrima di Morro d’Alba doesn’t necessarily age well, so be sure your bottle is no more than 2-3 years old. These wines work particularly well with a little bit of a chill on them.
I hope you enjoy these selections with this week’s Sunday Pasta!
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)
p.s. Check out our recipe for Paccheri con Pesce Spada