Wine pairings for Penne con Patate e Fagiolini
Potatoes make this penne dish quite robust, so it needs medium to full-bodied wines to accompany it. The best pairings will also have a touch of tannin or mouthwatering acidity to keep the palate refreshed between bites of potato, pasta and cheese.
Since it is summer, why not a rosato rather than a bianco for a chilled wine option? Rosés from Italy often have a touch more tannins than their whites, making them even more ideal for richer dishes like this one. Those made with grape varieties that give red rather than black fruit flavors are ideal. (The same is true for the varieties in red wines for this pasta.) Fattoria Sardi’s Tuscan Rosato blended from Sangiovese, Merlot, Ciliegiolo and other white grapes is an excellent option given how its crisp acidity cuts through the dish and its sapid fruit flavors contrast the potatoes’ earthiness. Alternatively, Mastroberardino’s Campanian rosato bottling is made of nothing other than Aglianico. That means the wine will naturally show a bit of the intense tannins characteristic of the rough-and-tumble Aglianico grape as well as its bracing acidity.
Moving onto wines with a bit more oomph in the red wine category, be sure they are served at cellar temperature (between 55-60° F) so that they don’t feel too heavy when sipped in the summer heat. Podernuovo’s Sotirio is a Sangiovese from Siena that offers a combination of volume on the palate along with brisk acidity. It only sees larger oak barrels, so it is more about the fruit than new wood flavors. This means the dish’s green beans won’t be clashing with oak’s flavors of coffee and mocha. Bussoletti’s Ciliegiolo di Narni Breccario offers many of the same qualities. However, it’s seen some small older oak barrels. So, if you like the nutty notes and broader palate that come through after this method of aging, don’t hesitate to pick up an extra bottle or two of this sipper.
Check out our recipe for Penne con Patate e Fagiolini.
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)