Wine Pairings for Bucatini con Pesto alla Trapanese (Basil, Almonds and Tomato)

Wine Pairings for Bucatini con Pesto alla Trapanese

Bianco: Donnafugata Lighea and Donnafugata Vigna di Gabri

Rosso: Donnafugata Sherazade

Ed’s right. You can’t find busiati outside of Trapani. Not even in the town’s ‘burbs. However, I recently imported a small stash when I returned from a trip across Sicily with 19 other Masters of Wine. I keep asking, but I’ve still not convinced Ed to hand deliver each week’s Sunday Pasta to my dining room table. At least I’ve got the genuine goods to whip this up on my own!

This dish pulses its aromatics and flavors, so it needs wines that resonate its flavors or that take a back seat. Unfortunately, most of the wines from the neighboring DOC Eric are not imported to the U.S. but, that’s okay because on the western coast of Sicily, in the town of Marsala, Donnafugata makes a range of wines that will accompany this pasta quite nicely.

First, I’ll pick some white wines. For a wine that echoes the pasta’s lively flavors, I would open the Lighea. Lighea is made entirely from Zibibbo, or Moscato d’Alessandria. This is a very aromatic grape that will sing rounds with the bright notes of the basil. This wine is also firmly dry, which will compensate for the richness from the almonds. For a wine that plays harmony to the pasta, I would open the Vigna di Gabri. This is a blend based on Ansonica. It ages quite well, so if you can find anything older, it will make a terrific match! I recent tasted the 2006; I described its savoriness as “notes of lightly toasted white bread spread with cultured butter.” This pairs well with the earthy aromas of the almonds and the grain in the pasta.

Now, it’s time for a red. The best bet will be generous in fruit and minerals without a trace of oak aging. The Sherazade hits the right note to sing along with the brightness of this dish. It’s an easy-drinking, red-fruited Nero d’Avola with very light tannins and mouth-watering acidity.

I’ve just purchased a bottle of Lighea from Chelsea Wine Vault. Now, I’m off to pick up basil and almonds at Whole Foods. Cin cin!

Check out our recipe for Bucatini con Pesto alla Trapanese.

Christy Canterbury, (MW)
Wine Editor

Leave a Comment


Sunday Pasta Book

A Year Around the Table with
Family & Friends

Authentic, simple, and delicious pasta recipes and wine pairings!