Fava beans, aka broad beans, have an earthy, nutty, savory flavor. That flavor will guide the wine pairing for this summery dish this week. If there is one country in the entire wine world I associate nuts with, it’s Italy. Now, there are lots of types of nuts and where they are fresh, roasted, baked…you get my point. My Italian nuttiness reference is in the unroasted almond range.
The good news is, almost every Italian white will work with this dish. A few will go particularly well. Both Pigato from Liguria and Lugana from Veneto have an underlying earthy quality that will match the favas. Some tremendously delicious Pigato comes from Bruna (Pigato U Baccan) and Feipu dei Massaretti (Pigato di Albenga). Lugana will be slightly more aromatic on the floral quotient unless you opt for a style that sees a sprinkling of oak in its aging. I often write that oak=caution, but if it is light-handed, it can work well with the Pecorino component of the dish. Look for Zenato’s Lugana or Lugana Riserva if you want a wine with a bit of creamy oak-aged character as well as Quintarelli’s Bianco Secco Ca’ del Merlo. Also, don’t forget Verdicchio, which I mentioned here. It’s a winning pairing, too.
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)