Wine Pairings for Penne alla Vodka
Ah, the 1970s. The luminaries…when they were drinking wine, especially Italian wine, they were drinking Lambrusco, Chianti and Soave. All these wines made in the popular styles of those days still exist. However, not one of those old-school style wines would offer pleasure like the modern, more concentrated, dry styles will.
Despite my love for Lambrusco, its full-bodied, dark-fruited juiciness would over-power the bright, acidic notes of this pasta’s signature sauce. Chianti and Soave, however, would both make great matches. The two are mouthwatering enough to rival the high acidity of the tomato paste in the sauce. This refreshing element will also cut through the richness of the pasta, the heavy cream, the butter and the Parmigiano.
Soave is made only in northeastern Italy’s Veneto region. It is predominately comprised of a grape called Garganega. Sometimes it has some Trebbiano di Soave blended in, too. There are many, many producers. So, chances are pretty good you’ll find Soave at any wine or liquor store into which you walk. Beware: many of them will taste like they did “back in the day” – watery and boring. Two names to look for are Tamellini and Corte Sant’Alda.
Chianti, made in Tuscany, is made largely from Sangiovese. A wide variety of grapes – both black and white – also can be included in its blend. This includes “international grapes” like Cabernet Sauvingon and Merlot. Again, you won’t be at a loss to find Chianti in any wine store, but a few to keep an eye out for are Melini’s Chianti Vigneto la Selvanella and Podere Il Palazzino’s Chianti Riserva Argenina.
With these wine pairings and Penne alla Vodka, the only other thing you’ll need is a little Al Green on your iPod!
Check out our recipe for Penne alla Vodka.
Master of Wine (MW)