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The Best Italian Wines to Complement Your Favorite Pasta Dishes, According to the Experts at Jupiter

By Claudia FisherJan 31 2023
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There are few things more satisfying than a warm and hearty home-cooked pasta dinner on a dark winter night. While it can be a challenge to parse through your favorite recipes and choose what to whip up, it can be even harder to pair your recipe with a wine that will complement the flavors and personality of your dish. Are you recreating your grandma’s famous red sauce for a cozy night in, or is this your first time hosting new friends who you want to surprise with something a little more unexpected? Your recipe and beverage selections may vary based on company, occasion, and other factors, but having some go-to ideas up your sleeve will definitely save you time and stress down the road.

To equip you with the perfect pairings for dinner in or out, we spoke to the experts at Jupiter — Rockefeller Center’s new Rink-level restaurant with a focus on regional Italian pasta and wine — to get a sense of what grapes and varietals go with some of the most popular types of pasta dishes. If you want to sample some of these suggested pairings for yourself before deciding what to recreate at home, stop into Jupiter (brought to you by Annie Shi, Clare de Boer, and Jess Shadbolt, owners of West Village’s King) for lunch or dinner Monday to Friday from 11:30am to 11pm.

With something creamy, like Jupiter’s Pizzoccheri (buckwheat pasta with fonduta, cabbage and potato)...

“Pizzoccheri is a rustic, Alpine-baked dish hailing from Lombardy. A creamy pasta like Pizzoccheri pairs beautifully with a light, fresh expression of Nebbiolo. We have a perfect choice from the region: Terrazzi Alti 'Sassella' Nebbiolo 2017. We also have a Nebbiolo by the glass by Boniperti from Piedmont that makes for an excellent pair.”

With a meat-forward dish, like Jupiter’s Agnoli Di Coniglio (pasta stuffed with slow-cooked rabbit)...

“Like the Pizzocheri, this dish from Lombardy pairs lovely with a Nebbiolo. Or, if looking for a white wine, we would suggest one with some age and texture like the Edi Kante Vitovska 2015, [which] we pour by the glass.”

With seafood, like Jupiter’s Risotto Di Mare (Nano Vialone cooked in prosecco with saffron, langoustine, squid, scallops, and clams)...

“Our risotto with fresh seafood cooked in the Venetian style pairs best with a textured, mineral, and saline-driven white wine, like the Arianna Occhipinti SP68 from Sicily we have by the bottle.”

Note: The grape in this white is Zibibbo, a member of the Muscat family.

With citrus, like Jupiter’s Paccheri Verdi Con Sugo Di Maiale e Limone (slow-cooked pork shoulder, sage, and lemon peel ragu)...

“This savory and lemony pasta calls for a bright and tangy red wine. Our Calabretta 'Cala Cala' Nerello Mascalese from Etna would match perfectly, served by the glass.”

Note: Nerello Mascalase also pairs well with oily fish, like sardines, tuna, and swordfish.

With red sauce, like Jupiter’s Tagliarini Al Pomodoro (tomato with marjoram and ricotta salata)...

“Tomato-based sauce calls out for Sangiovese. We pour La Torre Rosso di Montalcino by the glass. If looking to venture out of Tuscany, we have Chiara Condello's Predappio Sangiovese from Emilia-Romagna that would be a great match. Chiara will be in town for her first featured wine dinner in the US at our downtown restaurant, King on Feb 9; book on RESY here.”

With something on the sweeter side, like Jupiter’s Pansotti Di Zucca (with pumpkin, marjoram butter, and Parmesan)...

“This sweet and salty dish from Liguria is quite versatile when it comes to pairings. It goes beautifully with Champagne, like our Ponson we pour by the glass, or a light, fruit-driven red such as a Frappato from Sicily -  try the Lamoresca Frappato we have on the bottle list.”

Jupiter is open on the Rink Level of 620 5th Avenue Monday to Friday from 11:30am to 11pm.

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