While wine and Italian dishes go hand in hand, we all know just which type of wine to pair with which dish is not always to easy. We sat down with wine pro, Rob Mondavi Jr., a fourth-generation Napa Valley winemaker and Cofounder of the Michael Mondavi Family Estate, who shared his wine pairing suggestions to go with these 8 classic Italian dishes.
Wine Pairing: Serve with a soft, round, fruit-forward red like Oberon Napa Valley Merlot. The richness in the tapenade and the succulent pork will make this an extraordinary wine and food pairing.
Wine Pairing: The intense savory flavors in this dish might lure you into an Italian red wine. Instead, go for an Argentine Malbec from Susana Balbo specifically her Crios, which is fresh and vibrant with robust dark fruits and spices.
3. Cacio e Pepe
Wine Pairing: One of my favorite and remarkably simple pasta dishes, the warm, rich pepper and parmesan cheese call for a rich, robust Cabernet Sauvignon. A perfect complement is Emblem Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Dark fruit notes that enhance the subtle flavors of the cacio e pepe.
Wine Pairing: Our mother’s Isabel Mondavi Rosé is freshly aromatic containing a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Barbera. This rosé offers strawberry, cranberry and pears, an ideal complement to this light and fresh recipe.
Wine Pairing: The fragrant orange blossom in Moscato and versatile mineral palate play well with the variety of vegetables in Fritto Misto. One of my favorites is Donnafugata’s Lighea, a wonderful blend of floral and citrus notes from the island of Pantelleria, located between Sicily and Tunisia.
Wine Pairing: A traditional Sicilian dish like this deserves an indigenous Sicilian pairing, so I suggest seeking out the Grillo grape. Grillo, which means “cricket” in Italian, is a light white wine with a fresh bouquet of tropical fruit combined with scents of wildflowers. The soft palate and fruity notes are a delicious match with the layers of flavors found in the seafood stew. One of my favorites is Donnafugata’s Sur Sur, a wine that is perfect on a hot summer day.
Wine Pairing: Pizzas are an endless opportunity to be creative, so I suggest versatile wines that can play a supporting role to many different toppings and styles of pizza. One of my favorites is from Tuscany where the Sangiovese grape thrives. Sangiovese offers bright red fruit and refreshing acidity that can pair with a variety of pizza flavor combinations. The “Casamatta” Rosso from Bibi Graetz, which means “crazy house” in Italian, is exactly how it can feel at my house on pizza night with two kids running around!
Wine Pairing: Rich, creamy risotto is balanced well with a bright white wine, such as Oberon Sauvignon Blanc featuring the fresh, crisp flavors of apple, pear and grapefruit.
Learn more about Rob & Lydia Mondavi’s new collection for Williams Sonoma Home here.