THE WINE MATCHING
A perfect matching of wine and foods is almost fundamental to an excellent meal. There are some guiding principles in wine and food pairing. One is that strongly flavoured foods must match simple and bodied wines. Also renowned is the natural affinity between appetizers and the white and spumante wines. If fact the hors d’oeuvre’s characteristic acidity and the carbon dioxide contained in these types of wines stimulate the secretion of gastric juices.
Pasta and rice are matched according to the sauce that garnishes them. A strongly flavored sauce requires a bodied wine.
Meat is usually paired with red wine, but white meats can be equally matched with a rose or white wine. Fish, especially when grilled or fried, wants a dry white wine. Boiled fish best matches with a lighter white wine.
Here are some guiding advices about Sicilian wines. The Bianco d’Alcamo and the Etna Bianco Superiore have a natural affinity with fish. The Menfi Feudo dei Fiori and Menfi Bonera match perfectly with sword and tuna fish. Finally the Faro, the Etna Rosso and the Etna Rosato are perfect matchings for meat.
Pairing cheeses and wines may be slightly harder.
A choice can be suggested by the fat content of the cheese. Seasoned cheeses are best paired with bodied wines while fresh cheeses usually pair with lighter wines.
Thus fresh ricotta and mozzarella require some dry and light wines; a seasoned caciocavallo can be matched with a 2-3 year old frappato. Sicilian pecorino, with its characteristic spicy and aromatic flavor, is a perfect match for renowned Cerasuolo di Vittoria or old Marsala.
Matching of sweet foods and wines is equally important. Traditional specialties such as the cassata, the torrone, the cannoli and the frutta martorana require sweet wines like the Moscato of Siracusa, the Malvasia delle Lipari or the Moscato Passito of Pantelleria.