Wine pairings for Fusilli con Broccoli, Acciughe e Pinoli
Frizzante: Panevino Bianco Frizzante Billuke
Bianco: Panevino Isola dei Nuraghi Alvas
Speaking of the 0.001% (see Ed’s intro to this week’s recipe), between broccoli and anchovies, there’s about a 0.001% chance for most imbibers to pair this pasta well with wine. These two ingredients are game-changers. Broccoli is green in flavor with a molecule called acetoin that can trip up matches and anchovies have a distinct saltiness – of which wine contains none – and a solid umami flavor. Luckily, there are good matches to be made, and for this pasta, I suggest the wines of Gianfranco Manca from Sardinia’s Panevino winery.
Gianfranco’s frizzante and white recommended here are a blend of local white grapes including Vermentino, Vernaccia and Trebbiano. Both wines show significant peach and floral notes. These aromas work well with this savory pasta precisely because they provide contrast. The wines complement the food in that they are very dry. This imparts perceived savoriness on the palate. Each, also, has an element that helps to clean some of the pine nuts’ oil off the palate: the Frizzante Billuke has the bubbles and the bianco has faint tannins. Tannins? Yes, indeed. The Bianco Alvas is an “orange wine,” fermented on its skins. Don’t serve this wine too cold, as it will emphasize those tannins.
Panevino’s Rosso Piccade is a red blend that is also crafted from grapes indigenous to Sardinia: Monica di Sardegna and Carignano di Sulcis. This red shows lots of red berry fruit, again offering a contrast to the pasta’s savoriness. There’s ample acidity here to wipe away the nuttiness of the dish, too, and there’s mild tannins to boot.
I hope you enjoy the complements and contrasts of this week’s rather unusual wine picks. Gianfranco is working to revive these and other lesser-known varieties on his island, and it’s great to support his efforts. If you can’t find these wines or other Sardinian wines from the same grapes, ask your favorite wine store for Italian wines high in minerality and fruit-flavors with no oak, bright acidity and soft tannins.
Check out our recipe for Fusilli con Broccoli, Acciughe e Pinoli.
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)