Pecorino cheese and freshly grated black pepper are all you need to turn any dish into a comfort food. These are also the ingredients used to make one of Italy’s simplest, delicious pasta dishes: Cacio e Pepe.
The humble origins of this pasta date back to antiquity when it was a popular shepherd’s dish. It could be prepared anywhere with the dried ingredients they carried in their travel bags. Over time, the recipe was adapted and perfected by many chefs worldwide. Traditionally, the dish uses dried spaghetti, pecorino cheese, and freshly crushed black pepper. As simple as the ingredients sound, getting the right texture and flavors requires tender love and care.
A white pasta with an unforgettably tangy bite, this special dish deserves a complimentary wine to elevate its flavor! Whether you opt for a crisp white wine or a robust red, these pairings embody the time-honored Italian tradition of savoring a comforting meal alongside a delicious wine. Notably, one that creates a symphony of flavors and pays homage to the region’s culinary heritage. Discover the best cacio e pepe wine pairings for your next exploration.
Vermentino is an aromatic, fresh, and elegant wine. While it originated from Italy it could also be found in many other parts of the world. Mostly produced in Sardegna (which also has a pecorino cheese tradition), Vermentino has similar flavors to Sauvignon Blanc. For those who enjoy a crisp, complex white wine, this one is for you. Vermentino is an excellent accompaniment for cacio e pepe because the light flavors of the dish – with its hint of freshly ground black pepper – complement the wine’s minerality and herbal undertones. The citrus notes cut through the rich flavors and balance the meal.
With its light body and refreshing acidity, Trebbiano is one of Italy’s most versatile white wines. The wine’s citrus flavors contrast nicely with the creamy texture of the pasta, while its light body helps cleanse the palate between bites. When selecting a Trebbiano, consider options from regions like Umbria, where Trebbiano Spoletino is found, or Trebbiano di Lugana from the Veneto region. These wines typically showcase the grape’s bright acidity and can add a delightful touch to your cacio e pepe experience.
Look no further than Chianti Classico for a classic red pairing. While most people associate this wine with flavorful meats like Florentine steak, the sharpness of the cacio e pepe holds its own and makes Chianti an unexpected accompaniment. This iconic Tuscan wine, made primarily from Sangiovese grapes, carries a robust character that stands up to the boldness of the pasta dish. Its medium to full body, coupled with vibrant acidity and cherry-forward notes provides a delightful counterpoint to the richness of the dish.
If you prefer to pair your pasta with red wine, cacio e pepe’s peppery bite, and sharp cheese flavors can withstand a heartier bottle. Barbera d’Asti made from Barbera grapes from the region of Asti in Italy is a great option. This red wine boasts a juicy acidity and red fruit flavors that harmonize with the boldness of pecorino cheese. The wine’s moderate tannins provide structure without overpowering the dish, resulting in a well-rounded pairing showcasing the best of the wine and the pasta.
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