Wine pairings for Ravioli di Zucca
In this pairing section, I often caution against selecting wines that have seen new oak during their making. That is because the sweet flavors (vanilla, baking spice, chocolate) that come from toasting oak, a process that prepares the wood for holding wine, don’t usually go well with pasta. Here is a very clear exception! The nutmeg in this pasta will work hand-in-hand with wines touched by new oak spice.
For a white wine, Chardonnay is an easy choice, especially richer styles of Chardonnay made in the south of Italy. These fuller-bodied expressions of this all-time favorite grape will also have more exotic fruits like pineapple and mango that will nicely match up to the sweetness of the pumpkin or squash. Sicily has many fine examples.
The key to a good red wine pairing will be finding medium-plus body with softer tannins. Italian reds tend to have chiseled tannins, and their sharp mouthfeel could contrast too sharply with this dish’s decadent creaminess. Pinot Nero comes to mind, but its expressions from Northern Italy tend to be lean and crunchy. Sticking with Sicily in the red wine department can work very well if you opt for Nero d’Avola. This indigenous grape variety has caressing tannins when made as a varietal wine, and it also has the generosity of red fruits to stand up to the velvety mouthfeel of the ravioli.
Check out our recipe for Ravioli di Zucca.
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)