Wine and Food Pairing with James Flewellen: Trofie alle Castagne Pasta with Pesto, Potatoes and Green Beans
Try a Verdicchio wine from central Italy with this dish. This white wine has a complex, subtle, more vegetal flavour profile, as opposed to bright fruit and floral notes. This herbaceous quality will go very well with the similar flavours found in the green beans, while the acid in the wine will cut through the fats in the cheese and the oil in the pesto leaving your palate refreshed.
If you like your fruity wines, try a decent Pinot Grigio, whose acid will play a similar role to the Verdicchio. But be warned – many of the mass market Pinot Grigios out there have an overly fruity flavour profile and a touch of sweetness, which won’t complement the pesto as well.
On the red side and staying true to the Italian theme, a lighter red will do the job. You want something savoury on the whole and not overly tannic or alcoholic – which can be hard to find in Italy! A lighter-bodied Chianti Classico could work well, but you may want to have extra Parmesan on hand to round out the tannins!
Join James Flewellen and Jonell Galloway at “Celebrate the Chartres Festival of Lights & Autumnal Equinox with a Food & Wine Tasting Masterclass” in France from September 19 to 22, 2013.
Dr James Flewellen is a biophysicist at the University of Oxford. James learned his trade in taste through the Oxford Blind Wine Tasting Society, of which he was the President from 2010-2012. During his term, he represented Oxford at many international blind tasting competitions – twice winning the prestigious ‘Top Taster’ Award in the annual Varsity blind tasting match against Cambridge University and captaining winning teams in competitions throughout Europe.
One of James’s goals is to clarify the complex and hard-to-navigate world of wine for both novice and experienced tasters. He applies his scientific training to wine education, illuminating concepts of taste, tannin and terroir in an approachable, entertaining manner. James runs wine education courses in Oxford through the Oxford Wine Academy and is completing the WSET Professional Diploma in Wine and Spirits. He is the regular wine writer for The Rambling Epicure and is the founder of The Oxford Wine Blog. He is also currently co-authoring The Concise Guide to Wine and Blind Tasting – a book surveying the wine regions of the world and how to blind taste.