This summery Sunday Pasta is light and easy, so it needs a similarly laid-back wine to pair with it. An ideal wine would be light to medium in body with alcohol at 13% or less and no oak. (Older or larger oak would be fine on the reds but better avoided on the whites.) We are looking for subtly flavored yellow fruits (for whites) to avoid clashing with the exuberance of the tomatoes or cheery red fruits (for reds) to match the sweet-tart character of the tomatoes. Add some hints of herbal tones to align with the asparagus and basil and our wine shopping list is complete.
In the white wine category, Gavi ticks all the boxes. It tends to be lean and minerally, which allows the asparagus and tomato to take prominence in the pairing. Most Gavi wines are made in stainless steel tanks, which emphasizes their lively acidity and taut palate feel. That’s precisely what we’re looking for in this wine and food match. Gavi aromatics tend to include yellow stone fruits, almonds and hard-stemmed herbs. Finally, Gavi’s brisk texture leaves a dry sensation on the finish, perfect for the pleasant bitterness in the asparagus.
For a red wine, Chianti provide a lovely combo, especially a selection that is focused exclusively on indigenous grape varieties. These grapes tend to favor red fruit flavors, where as the “international” (French) Cabernet Sauvignon introduces black tones. Chianti wines from zones to the north and east – further away from the Mediterranean – tend to have lighter and brighter flavors that are the best-suited to this particular pasta. The flavors include red cherries, mulberries and pomegranate arils with nuances of rosemary and evergreens.
Master of Wine (MW)
Click here for Penne con Asparagi e Pomodorini recipe.