With the warm sunny days of summer, what could be better than a scrumptious meal of fresh pasta and seafood better yet enjoyed under open skies on a sunny veranda or with views to the sea. Along the coastal towns of the Mediterranean, fish is indeed a staple of many dishes year round, but the plethora of freshly caught seafood available during summer months makes for the creation of many of the best healthy and delicious traditional and innovative seafood delights. Finding a great wine to sip alongside such light summer meals can really raise the entire meal up a notch. So, keeping in mind some of the basics of wine pairing from our previous articles, let’s take a look at matching wines with pasta and risotto seafood dishes.
We’ll begin with a classic favorite of Italian cuisine, spaghetti with clam sauce, a pasta dish known and copied the world over and a firm favorite of many with its delicately salty and light flavors capable of immediately transporting diners to the sunny shores of Italy in the summer. An excellent wine to pair with it is one that it is delicate presenting both some sapidity and minerality, that doesn’t have a particularly high alcohol content and that is pleasantly aromatic. If your local wine store has a good selection of international wines, a few excellent Italian wines which pair particularly well with spaghetti and clams are Sardegna’s Vermentino, whites from the island of Elba such as Gavi, whites from the region of Puglia like Salice Salento or Greco di Tufo from Campania.
Another popular pasta dish loved by Italians during the summer is linguine allo scoglio, linguine pasta cooked al dente in a tomato based sauce with mussels, clams and shrimp. It’s the ideal dinner enjoyed slowly in good company on a terrace along the sea with the sound of the waves lapping at the shore. The ideal accompaniment to this dish is a medium-bodied soft rosé, such as the Italian rosato Salice di Salento, a wine capable of balancing out the slight acidity of the tomato sauce. Dry wines are a wonderful pairing as well. If looking for a an Italian wine to accompany this traditionally Italian pasta dish, look for a Riviera Ligure di Ponente Vermentino or a Grave Del Friuli Tocai.
Creamy shrimp risotto is another not to-be missed must-eat Italian seafood dish in the warm Mediterranean months. This irresistible velvety risotto is a bit less salty than the other two seafood pastas, so a perfect wine to pair with it is a dry white which is soft and light such as an Alto Adige Müller-Thurgau, a Colli d’Imola Trebbiano or a Sauvignon Collio.
From the shores of sunny Italy, buon appetito!