Wine pairings for Tortelli di Granchio
Reading this recipe makes me hungry. It sounds so succulent (I adore crab!) and decadent (butter AND cream!) This Sunday Pasta also makes me thirsty – for something to cleanse my palate of that tasty sauce before I go back for another bite…then another sip. The question is how to pair it with wine. Firstly, since there’s shellfish, red is best avoided. (Shellfish+red wine=metallic taste) Secondly, you can pair the dish with something that complements its richness or with an alternative that will contrast with more refreshment. So, I’m picking richer-style whites and somewhat powerful rosatos. All are all medium-bodied to match the weight of this pasta.
Chardonnay is a classic pairing with all things shellfish and butter. I’ve chosen three, one from the top, center and bottom of “the boot.” Though two of the wines have another grape variety blended in, it’s the Chardonnay that really carries the style of the wines.
Les Cretes is from northerly Val d’Aosta and is the leanest of the three given its cool climate. Les Cretes makes two versions of Chardonnay, one with no oak and one with oak. I suggest the one with oak, the Cuvée Bois (“wood cuvée”) as its creamier texture and richer flavors will marry best with the buttery goodness of the pasta. In Tuscany’s Chianti Classico region, Querciabella makes Batàr, a 50:50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. The name is a play on the famous French Grand Cru, Batard. Like that Burgundian wine, this one is broad on the palate and deeply concentrated in fruit. Lastly, in Puglia, Tormaresca makes a Chardonnay and Fiano blend – it’s 90% Chardonnay – called Pietrabianca. Interestingly, though it’s made from a warmer region, it’s slightly lighter in body than the Batàr, and, it’s definitely lighter on the pocketbook!
Rosato wines in Italy come in a wide range of styles, and I’ve chosen medium to full body wines. Again, I’ve chosen one from the north, one from the center and one from the south. From the northern Alto Adige, or Südtirol, hails the monovarietal Muri-Greis Lagrein Rosato. This wine is deeply flushed with fuschia and packed with juicy fruit, much like the Torre Quarto from the south. The Guappo is fun fusion of local grapes: Uva di Troia (30%), Sangiovese (30%), Primitivo (30%) and Montepulciano (10%). The Tuscan Castello di Ama Rosato, however, is paler. Made from Sangiovese with a 10% splash of Merlot, this wine has the most high-toned herbal notes, which will match up particularly nicely with the pasta’s herbs.
Of course, if you can’t find these labels, just about any oak-aged Chardonnay or bolder rosato will work well with this Sunday Pasta. Happy shopping!
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)
p.s. Check out our recipe for Tortelli di Granchio.