Wine pairings for Ziti al Forno
Just as food has its comfort zones, like baked ziti, so do wines. The area I always point to in Italy is Abruzzo. The wines are plump and cheerful and, for the most part, very inexpensive. What more comfort can we ask for in the post-holiday stretch called January?
Abruzzo is bathed in sunshine and its wine taste accordingly. Delightfully driven by their fruit with medium acidity, these wines are quaffers as well as wines that satisfy with food. Despite the persistent sunlight, the wines remain medium in body and moderate in alcohol. For reds, the tannins are so caressing you barely notice them. All this makes them perfect for pasta al forno, whether you’re making it, waiting for it or eating it!
Two varieties predominate Abruzzo vines: Trebbiano in white and Montepulciano in red. My favorite producers make good wines on both sides of the color divide. However, my favorite whites come from Farnese and Cantina Tollo while my “go-to” reds come from Masciarelli and Barone Cornacchia. While whites from Abruzzo are a little harder to “get right,” I find there is almost never a red that doesn’t make me smile. I’m always confident – and comfortable – buying a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)