Food and wine pairing: Pesto linguine + riesling

Peppery, garlicky pasta pairs up with an extremely versatile, powerhouse grape tonight.

Linguine with arugula pesto and pancetta

Sommelier Sarah D’Amato and our kitchen present this month’s ideal match:

Pesto is terrifically garlicky, and the addition of peppery arugula and heady gorgonzola results in a flavour-packed dish that few wines can contend with. Fortunately, riesling has the ability to stand up to such a savoury sauce. This powerhouse grape delivers an acidity that works to balance the richness of pancetta and blue cheese with a sweetness that enhances the herbaceous, salty flavours and textures in this dish and almost any other. In fact, among wine pros, riesling is widely accepted as the most exciting and food-friendly grape out there.

Rieslings range from very sweet to very dry, but it is the off-dry (barely sweet) style that offers the greatest versatility with food. Although they were among the world’s most expensive wines throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, today rieslings — particularly those from North America — offer exceptional value.

Perfect pairing: Riesling + Linguine with arugula pesto and pancetta

Wine_KingFu Girl Riesling

Spirited and Modern
Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2014. Evergreen Vineyard, Washington, from $19.

Wine_Cave Spring riesling

Reliable and refreshing
Cave Spring Estate Riesling 2013, Ontario, from $18.

Wine_Mission Hill Riesling

Concentrated and bold
Mission HIll Riesling Reserve, 2013, British Columbia, from $20.












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