Wine pairings for Spaghetti al Pesto di Peperoni
In this week’s Sunday Pasta, the almonds are the critical ingredient for the wine pairing. Their oiliness and fat add richness. Without them, I’d favor lighter whites or rosés. With them, I prefer creamy-bodied rosés and am confident in veering into moderate body reds, too.
For a rosé, I’d like something with oomph. I’d like a pink with lots of flavor to match with the sweet red peppers and a creamy, visous mouthfeel to work well with the what the weight the almonds will add to the sauce. Cirò rosato can do both. Cirò is the most important appellation in Calabria, the toe of the Italian “boot.” The region is heavily invested in its indigenous Gaglioppo grape. Gaglioppo makes bold wines – just what I’m looking for in a rosato style here. These rosés are made entirely from this signature grape. These wines are made in a similar fashion. So, how to decide which to purchase? I suggest my favorite method: buy one of each and decide which you prefer with and without the pasta! It may or may not turn out to be the same one.
In the red wine category, I’d like something middle of the road tannin-wise. High acidity, on the other hand, I would welcome. With the brightness of the red peppers, something young is also on the list. Rossese, a grape that calls northern Liguria its home, can work well. DNA profiling has proven that Rossese is also Tibouren, a grape that lives in Provence and makes lively wines there, too. More Rossese has been making its way to our shores in the last few years, and the two I’ve listed here are among my faves.
Whether your wines for this Sunday Pasta come from the north or the south or both, I toast you and yours….
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)
p.s. Check out our recipe for Spaghetti al Pesto di Peperoni.