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Pairing wine with pasta


Pairing wine with pasta – On my previous column, I explored the possibilities of matching rosé wine with Pizza, one of my all time favourite food items. In this week post, I will discuss what to drink with another great food staple of mine: Pasta.

Simply, the key to a successful pasta pairing is to forget about the pasta and think of the sauce.

Pairing wine and pasta is more of an acquired art rather than science. It’s all about balancing the flavours of the dish with the flavours in the wine. Dry Pasta, as we all know, has no flavour of its own. What gives it its flavour is the sauce. Various kinds of sauces are added to pasta, such as red, tomato-based sauce, creamy-white sauce, pesto sauce, etc.

Creamy pasta sauces
To offset the rich taste of a creamy sauce (example: carbonara or mascarpone cream) give a try to a Sicilian white, Chardonnay or a medium body New World Pinot Gris.

With fresh herbs and spring and early summer vegetables: Fresh Italian whites work well such as Vermentino or Arneis. For a french alternative, try a Muscadet from the Loire

Seafood and fish pastas

Mixed seafood in pasta such as linguini screams for Italian wines such as verdicchio, vernaccia or a good Fiano. For a french alternative, try a Picpoul de Pinet or an Aligote. 

Tomato based sauces with meat or without:

 Traditional virgin or marinara sauces go very well with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo or light Sicilian red blends

Meat (bolognese, spaghetti with meatballs, sausage-based ragus) is a logical partner for Sicilian and Puglian reds (especially Primitivo), Sangiovese, Rosso di Montalcino and medium range price Barberas. Zinfandel is a nice choice as well too.

Four whites wines to try with pasta to celebrate the arrival of summer:

Banfi Fumaio 2017 ( Tuscany, Italy) SAQ # 00854562 $15.45

An equal blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, zesty citrus fruits with notes of green apple and pear. Fruity and easy to drink, this wine makes a great partner with penne with cherry tomatoes and asparagus.

Colle Massari Melace 2016 ( Montecucco-Tuscany, Italy) SAQ # 13574370 $18.90

A marvellous, rich textured Vermentino from Tuscany. Exciting in the glass, displaying notes of white peach and melon, along with hints of fresh herbs and citrus peel. Enjoy with linguine alle vongole.

Cline Viognier 2017 ( California North Coast) SAQ # 11089792 $16.65

Lovely nose featuring pineapple jam, apricot and exotic floral notes. On the mouth, generous and structured with a beautiful freshness and aromatic finale recalling lychee. Pairing well with pasta and tuna.

Olliver Père et Fils Clisson Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine 2013 ( Loire Valley, France) SAQ # 12259992 $21.35

Aromas of mixed white fruits with complex mineral aromas that recall saltwater rocks. On the mouth, it is structured, yet very aerial and mellow. Very long and fine with deep and complex notes of honey, smoke and wax. Will pair well with spaghetti and anchovies.

Celebrating the arrival of summer with a glass of Chateau Cailleteau Bergeron!

I was lucky very early in Spring to meet the owners of Cailleteau Bergeron that were in Montreal to present their wines for the specialized wine press.The wines that I tasted from them are widely available in your local SAQ outlet in good but limited quantities.

Chateau Cailleteau Bergeron has been a family owned and managed estate since 1933. Sister and brother team Marie-Pierre and Pierre Charles Dartier make contemporary style wines from their 50 hectares of vines in Blaye. They are an independent producer and their estate is certified Terra Vitis. The Terra Vitis association gathers together winegrowers from all over France who share a common belief in sustainable winegrowing. The certification takes into consideration every aspect of the winemaker environment including man, soil, plants, landscape, flora and fauna.

Cotes de Blaye is located on the right bank of the River Gironde. This is quite an extensive wine producing region with more than 6,600 hectares under vine. The appellation produces predominantly easy drinking red Bordeaux wine that is often enjoyed by the local French population. However, Chateau Cailleteau Bergeron is an exception to the rule. The estate is quite capable to produce age worthy wines.

Cailleteau Bergeron mostly produces red Bordeaux blends with the typical region varieties that include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. However, the estates also produces a white wine made with Sauvignon Gris and Sauvignon Blanc. These are some of the best value driven Bordeaux wines that I have tasted in my career and definitely merit your attention.

The invitation was a courtesy of their Quebec Importer Vins Fins L’Agence. For more information on these wines or simply to acquire them, please contact Marguerite Aghaby at (438) 821-9971

 The wines:

Château Cailleteau Bergeron Tradition 2015 SAQ # 10388601 $17.75

A predominant blend of Merlot 90% and Cabernet Sauvignon 10%. The Cabernet portion of the wine was aged in three years old french oak barrels and the Merlot for 18 months in vat.Beautiful aromas of coffee, dark chocolate complemented by ripe black fruit such as prunes and cassis. On the mouth, powerful and structured with silky tannins. A long aromatic finale that brings to mind eucalyptus and mint. Enjoy it with a grilled flank steak and fries. Buy by the case and keep for the next 10 years

Château Cailleteau Bergeron Tradition Prestige 2015 SAQ # 00919373 $19.75

A majority blend of Merlot (80%) with the remainder split between Cabernet Sauvignon (10%) and Malbec (10%). The wine was aged in new oak French barrels ( new to 2 years old). The nose was more concentrated than the tradition as a result of the oak aging. Heady aromas of dark blue fruit with cocoa and cumin spice. On the mouth, it was quite creamy and long with fine and polished tannins. Perfect wine to have with magret de canard. This is a cellar keeper for the next 15 years.

Château Cailleteau Bergeron Nature 2016 (Private Import, $25.45/ Case of 12)

A natural style Bordeaux with no sulfites added. A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Merlot grapes were harvested during the evening to preserve the varieta laromas. Beautiful primal aromas of raspberry and strawberry with hints of licorice. Fleshy and juicy in the mouth, it will be the perfect wine for your casual summer BBQ events with friends.

Château Cailleteau Bergeron white tradition 2017 SAQ # 10863281

( Note: Arrival later in the fall, the 2016 retails for $16.35)

 A blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sauvignon Gris. Enticing aromas of white grapefruit, wild fennel and peach. On the palate, very fresh with lovely floral notes and exotic tropical fruits notes such as lychee sorbet. Crisp mineral finale. Keep an eye on this bottle when the oyster season arrives.

Marco Giovanetti – info@mtltimes.ca




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