One-by-one, every element of this Sunday Pasta narrows down the pairing scale to white wine. Shellfish and red wine often taste metallic together. Toss in lemon, too, and the situation becomes hopeless. Some rosatos could work as an alternative, as could leaner and dry styles of sparkling wine. However, Italian rosatos often have some tannins to them, and tannins aren’t great for tangy dishes. Sparkling wines – composed of any variety – can be either too sweet or too dry. So, white wine it is.
Timorasso from Piedmont is the way to go. Never heard of the grape? There’s a reason! Walter Massa – basically alone – resuscitated this grape variety over the last decade. Its best examples are delightful, and happily, the best are all we see in this country. It’s a variety that reaches good ripeness with refreshing acidity. That means it is good as a table grape but even better as a wine grape! The wines you find in the US have a lovely creaminess on the palate that stands up to the butter and cream in this dish. They also have a lilting acidic lift that crushes through that light richness in the dish and keeps you going back for more – both pasta and wine! Finally, Timorasso has a hint of floral and even herbal tones that works with the parsley, which even with just a sprinkle can complete change the tone of a dish.
If you can’t find Timorasso, stick to whites from the north or from the coast. Other good pairing possibilities are Friulano, (riper styles of) Pigato and Greco di Tufo could all work, too.
Master of Wine (MW)
Click here for Tagliolini con Gamberi, Limone e Panna recipe.