What is the best wine to pair with a fresh pasta dish? Whether you have hand-made your pasta at home or are out for dinner in your favourite Italian restaurant, there are definitely some specific regions or styles of wine which you should consider.
Truth be known, there is no one specific wine or style of wine which pairs best with pasta. There are however, wines which will lend themselves to pairing better with certain pasta dishes more than others. Read on for some tips on which style of wines to look out for in your local wine shop or on the restaurant wine list next time you fancy a bit of Italy’s most famous produce!
The Best Red Wine For Pasta
Barolo from Piedmont, Northern Italy paired with a duck ragù and fresh gnocchi. A cheaper (wine) alternative will be Barbera.
Merlot from Bordeaux, France paired with Nonna’s world-beating spaghetti alla bolognese. Don’t forget to add generous helpings of freshly shaved parmesan cheese!
Pinot Noir from Alsace, France paired with a mushroom, ricotta and truffle tortellini.
The Best White Wines For Pasta
Gavi from Piedmont in Northern Italy paired with chicken and pesto based ravioli. Gavi has been coming of age in recent times and is almost a little bit ‘cool’. Impress the sommelier and your guests by asking for or turning up with a bottle of Gavi. Boom!
Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley, France paired with a three cheese gnocchi. Chenin Blanc is a bit fuller than a Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc. What this means is that the rich and powerful aromas from the melted cheese will not mask the flavour of the wine.
Albariño, Rias Baixas, Northwestern Spain paired with a chilli crab linguine. Albariño maybe the perfect white wine pairing for seafood. If you can find both of these on the menu, it’s going to be a match made in heaven.
What is Pasta Made From?
In all its glory, pasta is just flour, eggs and a whole lot of forearms. The main variable in making pasta is the type of flour you use. Make sure you purchase a superfine or ’00’ grade flour. Some recipes recommend a blend of two types, but to keep it simple I would recommend using just one.
What is the best flour for making home-made pasta?
Pasta lover’s in the UK are well looked after with a number of pasta making courses and classes on offer. One site I have discovered recently which lists lots of different courses to choose from is Obby. Pasta Evangelists also host regular master classes across the UK. Check out their website and book onto one of their fun pasta-making events with a group of friends!
You have two choices when it comes to making pasta. The first is using a rolling pin and knife to flatten the mixture and cut / shape the pasta. The alternative is purchasing a pasta machine to do most of the hard work for you. Don’t forget though, half the fun of making pasta is getting your hands dirty!
The main benefit of using a machine is you will save time trying to flatten the pasta. And avoid looking like Popeye from all the arm work! To get an idea of what I mean, watch these two short videos which show how using a rolling pin and knife differs from using a machine.
Hand Rolling Pasta
Automatic Pasta Rolling Machine
Although it’s not complicated to make pasta, it is however time-consuming. This is why I recommend purchasing a pasta machine to assist with the laborious rolling process. Pasta rolling machines vary wildly in price and functionality. Depending on your budget and what you need, I recommend the following brands when making pasta at home:
You will see pasta machines advertised for under £30. In all honesty, I would recommend avoiding them. They are usually made from aluminium (as opposed to stainless steel) which might end up flaking off into your pasta over time. Furthermore, they aren’t as sturdy and won’t last very long.
Best Pasta Machine Under £100:
For me, the best pasta machine which combines a bit of initial kneading of the dough with your hands, whilst at the same time helping with the laborious rolling process, is the Marcato Atlas 150.
You can choose from different colours, it’s Italian made, easy to clean and relatively inexpensive at around £65 retail.
Other cool features include the ability to adjust the rolling size so you can make different types and thicknesses of fresh pasta, along with being made from stainless steel.
Best Pasta Machine over £100:
This bad boy is for those who are serious about making fresh pasta. You will need to have a bit more space, less time and want to make a lot of fresh pasta regularly. You also need to do less (which for some might be a good thing) as the Philips Viva Pasta Maker will knead the pasta dough for you, along with flatten and then shape.
Although it looks a little more complicated to use, it really isn’t. The components fit together well, it is easy to clean and you can make a lot of fresh pasta in under 20 minutes. The only issue here is storage space and it,s price, retailing at around £150.
I recommend you take a pasta making class first and then decide on what pieces of equipment and utensils you need. The teacher will also give you a more personalised recommendation based on your requirements and situation. Some things to think about are the size of the machine, how much space you have for storage, the amount of bench space you have to prepare the dough and the amount of pasta you will need to make each time.
We hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about pairing wine with pasta. Savage Vines import wine from independent, small, family run wineries from around the world. We look for wines that are unique to the region in which they are made and a true reflection of the terrior, culture and way of life.
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