For some reason, our inclination is to always pair white wine with pasta. The pasta itself—the actual flour, egg and water mixture—is what provides the “base” and as I learned when I made pasta in Italy, really good pasta should be the star and the sauce then compliments it. For this experiment, Aldo challenges me to taste the same red wine with four different pasta sauces—same noodles, different sauces. The result is surprising and compelling.


Place the basil, garlic, Parmesan, ½ cup of olive oil and pine nuts in a mini food processor or blender; add a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Process or blend until smooth adding more olive oil as necessary.

Wine Pairings: Frappato Valle d’Acato ‘08



2 cups basil leaves, loosely
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ cup grated Parmesan
½ cup extra virgin olive oil +
   more as necessary
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- fine sea salt and freshly
   ground black pepper