Wine Pairings for A Tribute – Michelle’s Ragu

Bianco: Tasca Conti d’Almerita Grillo Cavallo delle Fate Grillo, Tenuta Rapitalà Piano Maltese

Rosso: Colle Picchioni Vigna del Vassallo, Falesco Montiano

This Sunday Pasta combines a little bit of everything. Though it’s overall pretty rich, it varies from savory to sweet (sweet peas, that is). So, like the dish, it takes a special sort of wine to find an equilibrium with this dish.

In white wine territory, Sicily provides very fine possibilities for this rather unctous pasta. That’s because the white grapes tend to show minerality and tension as well as lush ripeness. Tasca Conti d’Almerita Grillo Cavallo delle Fate is a good place to start as it is a medium-bodied wine with moderate richness that echos this pasta’s weightiness without adding copiously to the palate’s density. Its moderately neutral flavors accent the mushrooms’ earthy undertones. Yes, Sicily is afloat in Grillo, but this is a special one.

If you opt for a different Grillo, make sure it isn’t overly lean. You’ll want a bit of baby fat to match this pasta’s weight. If you’re looking for a white with a similarly mineral and aromatic profile that shows a bit more freshness, opt for Tenuta Rapitalà’s Piano Maltese, a blend of Grillo and the other primary local white grape, Cataratto.

Given this pasta has some gusto, it’s okay to look into heartier varieties that provide a bigger bodied mouthfeel and flavor. Lazio is an excellent place to go searching, especially thanks to its strong representation of international varieties. Whether you opt for a Bordeaux-style blend or a varietal wine, generously fruit-driven options abound. Colle Picchioni’s Vigna del Vassallo is a beautiful Bordeaux blend with more telescoping tannins that rein in its flavors and full body than that of the varietal Montiano. The pure Merlot Montiano is more lush and decadent, pulling the headiness of the pairing to a most delightful extreme.

Cin cin!
Christy Canterbury

Master of Wine (MW)

Wine Editor

Check out our recipe for Michelle’s Ragu.

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