Wine Pairings for Timpano Pantheon
As Ed points out, sometimes when we’re in the middle of a magic place –close enough to feel its heart beat – it’s hard to know if we’re so caught up in the moment whether or not we’re really synthesizing the quality of that experience. Ed’s point on food and architechture easily – definitively – translates to wine. It’s almost cliché (and always sad) to hear about friends who loved a bottle while sipping it in the sunshine across The Pond then discovered they found it entirely uninteresting when they returned home with half a case (or more). What a shame! Hence, the perennial question is, “How do we keep the love of local wines going once we get back home?” Here’s one suggestion that will keep your taste buds happy while preventing you from checking in more luggage on your return flight.
One of the regions often visited by Americans is the Italian Riviera, better known in Italy as the Ligurian Coast. Here, after hiking the Cinque Terre, we sit for a crisp, refreshing bottle of white without being particularly discriminating. Of course, it might be a red on a chilly day. Nonetheless, the wine, the company and the atmosphere are perfect. Well, there is one local producer who never disappoints and whose wines can be found in the US upon your return: Riccardo Bruna. As it turns out, Riccardo’s brightly acidic wines, be they Pigato (white) or Granaccia (red), pair brilliantly with this week’s Sunday Pasta, a rich, baked pasta. Pigato is also known as Vermentino in Tuscany and Sardinia; it offers citrus and floral aromas with a lightly creamy mid-palate and lovely acidity. Riccardo’s U Baccan, which means “the boss,” is made from parcels of older vines while his Le Russeghine comes from a top vineyard site. Riccardo’s Granaccia, Pulin, is similar to the Cannonau of Sardinia (and the Grenache of Southern Rhône) and possesses a vibrant red fruit complex with moderate to full body and lightly tugging tannins that compliment this dish well.
Check in with your local wine retailer for these Ligurian selections or ask if s/he has a Sardinian alternative.
Christy A. Canterbury, Master of Wine