Wine Pairings for Tagliatelle ai Funghi Porcini
Fall is my favorite season, porcini my favorite forage-able, Pinot Nero my favorite grape…and mushrooms and Pinot Nero are a consummate match. What luck!
Yes, there are some bianco versions of Pinot Nero out there for sippers who prefer white wine. Despite the yellow color of those wines, their red fruit flavors will enhance the porcini gracefully. However, there is an important texture added by Pinot Noir tannins that offsets the density of the mushrooms and pasta, which I favor. Hence, I’m highlighting only red Pinot Nero today.
Pinot Nero needs a cool climate, so most are from northern Italy. You occasionally find them from other regions, usually from grapes grown at high altitudes (where its chillier.) Many are from Alto-Adige, including the ones I’ve chosen for this pasta. Both happen to be value wines…a rarity in a varietal category known for costing more than a few Andy Jacksons and often a couple of Ben Franklins. (You’re very welcome!)
The first is from Peter Zemmer. Zemmer is a family winery established in 1928, which is rather young for an Italian winery. This Pinot Nero smells like a walk in the woods in autumn. Its woodsiness is supported by crunchy red fruit that offers plenty of acidity to cleanse the palate well.
The second is from Abbazia (Abbey) di Novacella. This institution, which today also hosts a boarding school, is a bit older…about 800 years older. This Pinot Nero is richer in texture and darker in fruit flavors with damson and black plum undertones. The tannins are velvety, but they provide ample structure to gently contrast with the richness of this tagliatelle.
If neither of these wines is in your favorite wine shop, check for another Pinot Nero from Alto-Adige. The overall quality of this northerly region that borders Austria is one of the highest in Italy…even with the finicky Pinot Nero. What you do find should be quite tasty.
Check out our recipe for Tagliatelle ai Funghi Porcini.
Christy Canterbury, (MW)