Wine pairings for Spaghetti con Fiori di Zucca
Bianco: Vigneti Massa Timorasso Derthona, Ricci Timorasso Colli Tortonesi
This beautiful pasta has two tricky elements for wine pairing. One is the zucchini blossoms, and the other is the anchovies.
Zucchini blossoms introduce a lightly green, herbal element that is tinged with sweetness. Meanwhile, anchovies contribute saltiness to any dish. Depending on the anchovies’ pungency and the chef’s inclination to add an extra dash, anchovies can also add a marine element that can make red wines – even lighter ones – a pairing disaster. They tend to end up tasting metallic. Given these two dominant elements, stick to whites and rosés for this tantalizing Sunday Pasta.
White wines may seem an obvious choice for this pasta, yet which white to choose is not so clear given Italy’s massive array of white wines. The ideal pairing has both leafy, herbal top notes to pair with the zucchini blossoms and just enough roundness on the palate to accommodate the mascarpone and Parmigiano. Though no easy task, despite Italy’s diversity of options, options do exist, even within the same grape variety. Try Timorasso, a little-known variety grown in Piedmont. The Vigneti Massa version is bright and clean and appeals to the savory side of this pasta. Meanwhile the Ricci is an “orange” wine, opening up to the sweet side of the zucchini flowers with its apple cider notes.
For rosato wines, pretty much any wine with generous fruit will work, whether it was vinifed and aged in stainless steel to plump up its fruit or whether it saw time in older oak or cement vats. The former style, à la Argiolas, will pair up particularly well with the zucchini blossoms while the latter, in the Graci style, will steer more toward bringing out the cheeses, garlic and anchovies of the pasta.
Check out our recipe for Spaghetti con Fiori di Zucca.
Master of Wine (MW)