Acid to acid is a guideline often applied to solving the mystery of what wine to drink with a dish. In the case of this quick pasta dish, the acidity from the cherry tomatoes points to wines with zestiness, themselves, like these three classics from Europe.
BUTTERFLY PASTA WITH SMASHED TOMATO SAUCE
Cook 8 ounces butterfly pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over high heat; add 1 1/2 pints cherry tomatoes. Cook, shaking the pan a few times, until tomatoes begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add 1 onion, chopped; cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add 2 cloves garlic, minced; cook 1 minute. Lightly smash tomatoes with a spoon. Add 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt; cook 1 minute. Drain pasta; stir into the sauce. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Makes: 4 servings
Recipe by Carol Mighton Haddix
Pairings by sommelier Rachael Lowe of Spiaggia, as told to Michael Austin:
2015 Loimer Langenlois Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal, Austria: Grown organically and with great respect for the land, this wine will be a perfect complement to this dish. Notes of green apple, lemon, white pepper and sage are followed by lovely acidity and a bracing minerality. While the body of the wine will balance the zestiness of the tomato, the herbs and pepper cut nicely through the texture of the pasta and cheese.
2014 Castello ColleMassari Rigoleto Montecucco Rosso, Tuscany, Italy: A blend of sangiovese and montepulciano from the small DOCG region of Montecucco, this wine was aged in both used oak and stainless steel for just less than a year. The wine displays aromas of Bing cherry, licorice, a hint of smoke and dried tarragon. It also has medium-plus acidity and moderate tannins, a combination that will complement the natural acidity of the tomato sauce.
2011 Ca’ del Baio Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy: This multigenerational winery is represented by three sisters who travel internationally to showcase the art of their father’s winemaking. From vineyards in Treiso, this nebbiolo is a nuanced and elegant wine, with notes of raspberry, dried mushroom, violet and thyme. The racy acid and tannin will cut through the Parmesan and pasta, while the floral and herbal components will intermingle beautifully with the sauce.