This Sunday Pasta’s key ingredient is zucchini. It’s a vegetable that carries a pleasant green garden note along with earthiness. Wines that fall into the earthy, mineral camp tend to work better in a pairing than those that are in the decidedly fruity one, as the latter provide too strong a contrast in many cases.
Garganega is a neutral white grape variety from the Veneto. It is citrusy and sometimes marked by tart green apple flavors. These less forward fruit characters easily accompany the wine’s strongly mineral undercurrent. Sometimes producers make this wine in neutral vessels, but sometimes they opt for a small portion of new oak. Either style works with this wine. (Just stay away from any highly ambitiously oaked versions.) If you’d like something richer, seek out a wine with just a touch of oak influence, like the Prà.
Rosso Piceno is a Sangiovese- and Montepulciano-driven blend from the Marche. The wine style tends to be earthy, too, and in some years it can verge on being just-ripe in fruit, meaning it can be a touch leafy green in aroma. What better to pair with this zucchini dish?! Do be sure to distinguish between this and Rosso Cònero, which tends to be fuller-bodied, blacker in fruit character and often oakier. For your Rosso Piceno pairing with this pasta, lean toward wines with no or minimal new oak.
Check out our recipe for Penne con Zucchini e Pancetta.
Master of Wine (MW)