The Perfect Wine for Any Tomato-Based Pasta Dish

The Perfect Wine for Any Tomato-Based Pasta Dish

This red is warm and inviting, much like Mom's spaghetti!

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One of my PR people recently recommended drinking Cabernet Sauvignon with “Spaghetti al Pomodoro.” Well, I can’t think of a worse match-up! Young Cabernet, with tight tannins and concentrated weight would simply overwhelm any tomato-based pasta dish. Personally, I prefer many Italian wines with the right texture and acidity to do the job. Chiantis work, but my preference is twofold: Dolcetto from the Piedmont region of Italy or today’s choice – a Valpolicella from the Veneto region. Some of the best Valpolicella today is produced using the “appassimento” process, where some of the bunches of grapes are dried on mats to give the final product more bouquet, body and focus. Buglioni’s 2014 Valpolicella is a wonderful example. It is a succulent, delicious wine that will perfectly accompany your freshest tomato-based pasta dish in style.

2014 Valpolicella Classico Superiore, Buglioni l’Imperfetto $20 srp

A deep, dark ruby in color. The nose is warm and inviting with the smell of dried grapes in evidence, giving a “sweet” impression to the generous bouquet. Elements of cherry, redcurrant and violets enliven it. Flavors are medium-bodied and “tense,” with a fat texture that hugs your palate in the same manner homemade tomato sauce does! Easygoing tannins and just the right amount of acidity complete this lovely experience. (Contains 50% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, 25% Rondinella and 5% Oseleta grapes. Wilson Daniels is the importer.) Drink now-2019.

91/100 points

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Arturo Ciompi
Trained as a classical clarinetist and conductor, Arturo plied his trade for many years in New York, performing with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, the American Symphony and countless chamber music groups. While living in Durham, Arturo became the wine manager at two iconic gourmet stores: Fowler’s in Durham and Southern Season in Chapel Hill. He had a wine spot on NPR in the ’90s and has been a continuously published wine journalist since 1997. He has won national awards for his work and is currently writing for Durham Magazine and its weekly blog, “Wine Wednesdays”. In addition, he loves teaching the clarinet. Read more on his website.