This Sunday Pasta boasts a wide variety of bold flavors. As such, it can take more prominently flavored wines – even ones with new oak influences of spice and toast. That isn’t typically the case, so this is a good opportunity to enjoy some bigger wines (especially reds), during the height of winter, even if it is definitively El Niño influenced.
Greco di Tufo is a highly expressive, medium to full-bodied grape from Southern Italy. Not only does it tend to be generous in body, it also typically has a pleasant, mouth-coating quality that gives it a sense of broadness and even grandeur that this hearty pasta needs in a white wine. Taste wise, Greco is packed with minerality yet is rather reserved in its fruit qualities. Especially when grown in volcanic soils, the variety takes on characteristics of cracked white pepper and lit charcoal bricks. Both of these aromatics work well with this pasta’s domineering sausage flavor.
Syrah is a red not often seen in Italy. When it is used, it’s often in a blend. Used as a blending component, Syrah can add black peppercorn spices. Standing on its own, Syrah can show a multitude of personalities. From a cooler, generally more northern climate, it tends to produce a fun – if sometimes funky – gamey flavor. Grown and vinified in warmer climates, the variety takes on predominately dark berry flavors – like blackberries. And in general, Italian Syrah has a decided earthiness that works very well with the noticeable whole-wheat wholesomeness of this pasta.
Click here for Penne con Salsiccia, Pomodorini, e Mozzarella Affumicata.
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)