Wine Pairings for Polenta e Porri
As Ed makes it crystal clear, the women who perfected this recipe have some very specific ideas as to how it should (interpret: must) be made. So that nonna doesn’t come after me with her wooden spoon, I suggest we pair this Piedmontese dish with wines from the region itself!
There are a few approaches to take with this dish. One would be to match its creaminess. I’d choose Roagna Langhe Bianco Solea for this strategy. The Solea is an unusual blend of Chardonnay with a few drops of Nebbiolo. This is definitely a Chardonnay for those who love it rich and buttery. A second strategy is to choose a wine with nice acidic lift and some fresh herbs notes that will take well to the leeks. Here, you can choose a white or a red wine. For the white, try an aromatic Arneis. I like Matteo Correggia’s. Alternatively, the local Grignolino makes a great choice for the red. In addition to having green notes of pine and cedar, Grignolino’s feisty tannins and high acidity tame the unctuous of the polenta. Francesco Rinaldi’s Grignolino d’Asti is a sure bet. Finally, you can always go with the well-known and much-loved Barbera. Similar to Grignolino in its racy acidity, Barbera has tamer tannins. There are sure to be several lined-up on the shelves of your near-by wine store. Scan them to see if you can find Giuseppe Mascarello’s Barbera d’Alba Santa Stefano di Perno.
All these wines are very gentle on the wallet, so you might consider picking up a second, different bottle to create a mini wine tasting. If you discover a wine you love made with one of these varieties, let me know!
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine