Since I touched on it, I would be remiss if I didn’t properly cover the issue of pasta with mushrooms, or even better, with truffles. Let’s get the truffles out of the way first. By truffles I mean real truffles, not that nasty industrial truffle oil. Truffles are expensive, it’s true, and the ideal wine to pair with truffles, old Burgundy or Barolo, is going to be expensive as well. Hence why there are mushrooms!
Mushrooms, even wild mushrooms, are relatively affordable, and deliver a nice alternative to the spicy, earthy, aromatic beasts that are truffles. Like truffles, mushrooms seem to have an affinity for Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo wines with some age on them, and when tasted with pasta tend to be light enough to get by handsomely with a simple Burgundy or Nebbiolo. I love both of these wines and wouldn’t hesitate to pair mushroom-based pasta dishes with either.
A classic Nebbiolo with some edge from Valtellina: Nini Negri Quadrio Valtellina 2005
A maturing Burgundy on the cusp of forest floor: Joseph Drouhin Chorey-les-Beaune 2006
Photo courtesy alexdowle via Flickr/CC