Wine Pairings for Spaghetti alla Caciara
This highly versatile and fairly rich pasta works well with generous-bodied whites and mid-weight reds. Its key pairing points are the pancetta and the truffled butter or oil.
A white with underbrush and mushroom scents works especially well with those truffle effects. Oaked-fermented and aged Chardonnay makes an ideal match, especially those with at least three or four years of bottle age. These slightly older bottlings will be shedding some of their youthful fruit verve to reveal woodsiness. Also, Chardonnay that sees oak tends to be rounder and creamier, mimicking this dish’s mouthfeel. I prefer northern Italian Chardonnays here as those made further south show more overt fruit flavors and can be a bit short on the acidity needed to keep the pairing vibrant. Borgo del Tiglio, Rocche dei Manzoni and Pio Cesare Chardonnay Piodilei ferment their Chardonnay in French oak barriques – just what is needed for this dish.
Moderately fruity reds do a fine job of delivering savory and fruity in the same sip. Gaglioppo, the grape used in Calabria’s Cirò wines, is just that. Gaglioppo also shows hard-stemmed herb and rose inflections that fuse elegantly with truffles. Ippolito makes an easy-on-the-wallet, normale Cirò as well as a fancier, single vineyard Colli del Mancuso. Fattoria San Francesco does the same, and it’s higher-end Ronco dei Quattroventi shows more oak spice than Ippolito’s.
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)
p.s. Check out our recipe for Spaghetti alla Caciara.