Wine Pairings for Risotto alle Zucchine

Wine pairings for Risotto alle Zucchine

Bianco: Fontanavecchia Fiano Sannio, De Conciliis Perella

Rosso: Paltrinieri Lambrusco di Sorbara Leclisse, Cantina della Volte Lambrusco di Modena

This summery risotto needs a wine that works with it in two ways. First, the wine needs to stand up to the heft of the rice’s starch. That means the wine needs to be medium in body. Second, the wine should show a hint of a garden-fresh “green” sort of smell. I’ll add, as I often do when pairing wine with pasta and risotto, that a wine with no new oak will match best.

For a white, a Fiano will work beautifully. I once heard the wine resulting from this Campanian variety described as “pesto-flavored”. Indeed, there’s a parsley note on the nose to align with the zucchini, as well as a nuttiness on the palate to blend with the risotto. Decidedly medium-bodied, Fiano rarely sees new oak, but one that has been aged in older oak – like those listed here – will have the roundness this risotto deserves.

Moving into red wine territory, dry Lambrusco from Emilia-Romagna makes for a dynamic pairing. The light tannins and roaring acidity of this red grape combine with its bubbles to provide nicley brisk tension that cleans-up behind the risotto’s generosity. The wines tend to carry a high-toned herbal note not unlike cool climate Cabernet Franc’s, like those from France’s Loire Valley for example. While at 11-12% abv Lambrusco tends to be lower in alcohol than many still reds, it nonetheless provides plenty of perceived body given its in-your-face flavor impact to work with this risotto.

Whether white and still or red and spumante, these wine pairings are sure to make this summer risotto dish even more complete!

Check out our recipe for Risotto alle Zucchine.

Cin cin!
Christy Canterbury
Master of Wine (MW)
Wine Editor

Leave a Comment


Sunday Pasta Book

A Year Around the Table with
Family & Friends

Authentic, simple, and delicious pasta recipes and wine pairings!