Wine pairings for Spaghetti al Pomodoro Crudo
For all their sweetness, most tomatoes balance that with their rather powerful acidity. In this situation, I prefer whites and rosés. And, since this dish screams of summer lightness, which many pastas cannot do, I would stretch a bit further and just stick with whites. Pairing reds can be tricky, though some of the pale, lightly colored, northern Italians can work if rosso it must be.
If your tomatoes are sweeter, opt for an Arneis. Arneis has floral top notes that work well with that fruit (remember: tomatoes are fruits!) generosity. For a smart tidbit to tell your mate or your guests at the tavola, Arneis used to be referred to as Barolo Bianco because it was formerly used in those red wines to soften their tannins.
If your wines are more acidic and less sweet (so many rainy patches this year mean lots of local tomatoes taste this way now), try a Gavi. This wine style is always made from the Cortese grape. Gavi is far richer in acidity than Arneis, so it will more closely approximate the less sweet tomatoes. Gavi is also deeply mineral in flavor, which should pair up better with lower tomato ripeness.
Both of these whites are Piemontese cousins, their unique grapes being grown exclusively in that northwestern region. Chances are your tomatoes will be a mix of nicely ripe and somewhat less ripe, so why not go for one of each in the Piemontese white wine family and decide which you prefer.
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)
p.s. Check out our recipe for Spaghetti al Pomodoro Crudo.