As cooler weather and shorter days set in, traditional regional Italian dishes based on legumes return to the tables – heart-warming, wholesome recipes often passed down from generation to generation. Chickpeas, lentils and beans are just some of the stars of autumn’s bounty, foods rich in protein and carbohydrates, with a low fat content.
So, how can one pair wine and legumes? Choosing the ideal match involves first of all taking into account the main condiment: in fact, recipes based on these delicious foods are countless and range from soups and chowders to pasta and stews.
The Basics of Pairing Wine and Legumes
In general, their basic characteristics call for fresh or effervescent wines, tending to be white, rosé and sparkling, but red wines with a low tannin content are also excellent. Should the dish involve the presence of meat, the right pairing of legumes and wine will call for a red with good structure, and even a sparkling red such as Lambrusco.
Pairing Lentils and Wine
For lentils, the choice depends on the way they are prepared and presented: if they are stewed, the ideal pairing is with a lively, light, low-tannin red wine, such as a Bardolino or Parrina Rosso, while, if eaten in cold dishes, a dry, soft, young white wine, such as Colli Bolognesi Sauvignon and Alto Adige Terlano Pinot Bianco, will bring out their subtly nutty flavors.
Chickpeas and meat soups with beans, on the other hand, call for a young, soft and moderately alcoholic red wine, such as San Colombano and Ostuni Ottavianello. Other reds that in general pair well with these types of dishes are: Colli Maceratesi Rosso and Arcole Cabernet, both young, fresh reds.
Pairing legumes and wine
Peas pair well with sparkling white wines such as Oltrepo’ Pavese, Riesling, and Prosecco di Valdobbiadene and Prosecco di Conegliano. Broad beans, when eaten fresh, go excellently with a Colli Bolognesi Classico Pignoletto or Sannio Falanghina. When cooked, a young, unstructured white, such as Colli Piacentini Müller Thurgau, is best. However, when it comes to soybeans it’s better to choose another drink. The high water content of this food greatly attenuates the organoleptic sensations.