Wine pairings for Pennone con Ceci e Cipolla
Rosso: Scurek Merlot
This Sunday’s Pasta is full of character in the way that interior decorating often uses plain white to highlight the simplicity of a few elements in a room. Basically, low-key fruitiness and wines that saw no to little new oak at the winery are the way to go. This dish also has a creamy texture, so it works well with wines that have a similarly broad-across-the-palate profile. Wines with medium body made from grapes of a more neutral profile can work. However, wines packed with character whose fruit has been mellowed by age are even better. Wines from eastern Italy’s Fruili and neighboring Brda, Slovenia are plump for picking.
In the white category, the little-known, local Vitovska is a fine choice. From the producers I recommend, Vitovska comes in a thoroughly dry and crisp package that easily cleanses the palate of this moderately rich pasta. They are golden in color and cidery on the nose, providing enough subtle flavor to exhibit their own character while not competing with the pasta’s. Don’t worry if the vintage date looks too old: they are usually sold 6-8 years older than most white wines on the market, and that’s a very good thing in this case!
On the red side, late-released Merlot – meaning the winery ages the wines until they are smoother and more ready to drink rather than expecting you to have that discipline – is an excellent complement to this pasta. After several years in bottle, Merlot’s bright plum fruit becomes less dominant. This allows notes of fallen autumn leaves and damp soil to come through. Both of these aged wine aromas are great accents to the earthiness of chickpeas. Additionally, older Merlot’s palate feel becomes smoother – mimicking that of the pasta.
Check out our recipe for Pennone con Ceci e Cipolla.
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)