Wine Pairings for Penne alla Polpa di Granchio (Crabmeat)

Wine pairings for Penne alla Polpa di Granchio

Bianco: Elena Walch Chardonnay Beyond the Clouds, Planeta Chardonny Sicilia

Rosato: Torre dei Beati Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Rosa-ae, Tenimenti Angelini Très Rosé

About 96.3% of the ingredients this dish scream for a creamy white wine. Crabmeat, heavy cream, white wine and olive oil all call for a luxurious white wine. Carrot, tomato and parsley provide lift, but so little as to go almost unnoticed. However, those last three notes work well with cooler climate creamy wines. Oaked Chardonnay is a natural fit with this mouthcoating dish. Reds will definitively clash with this dish, though generously-bodied rosatos with little to no tannin can work, too. With such a lovely dish, it would be a shame to experience the classic “metallic” taste clash of red wine with shellfish.

Chardonnay comes in so many styles today that it helps to talk to the guru at your local store to figure out which on her/his shelf best suits your needs.  If I were chatting with a salesperson, I would ask for “a wine with a bit of mid-palate roundness and medium to full body with a touch of milky-creamy flavors but without toasty, caramely, butterscotchy notes.” Then, you should find an excellent pairing for this dish!

Frequent readers here know I love Montepulciano for its supple juiciness and its gentle tannins. Those qualities are all the more pronounced in the rosato category, where Italians – unlike most other wine producing regions – can toss in a bit of skin contact to add tannin that gives “spark” to a wine pairing or a tasting experience. Additionally, more elegant, fruit-reserved wines from Toscana can work here. While the Montepulicano rosatos will match the dish in richness, the Tucscans will provide more vigor and contrast the dish.

Check out our recipe for Penne alla Polpa di Granchio.

Cin cin!
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)
Wine Editor

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