Summer Pasta with Sauvignon Blanc
Multicolored Swiss chard meets its match in a fresh-flavored whiteespecially a riper, softer, New World bottling.
When making Pasta with Bright Lights Swiss Chard, let yourself be inspired by what you see in the market or by what you find in the pantry. Malloreddus, a ridged pasta from Sardinia, is only one of many possible pasta shapes that would work well in this dish; farfalle, cavatappi and fusilli, with their folds and cavities, are also perfect for holding the chunks of vegetables and cheese. You could replace the chard with lightly boiled watercress or grilled endive. As you change the recipe, you might want to alter the table setting accordingly. To complement the rustic look of malloreddus, use a chunky fork and a tea towel instead of a napkin. If using farfalle, give the setting Asian style with spare white Rosenthal bowls and plates, Jean Couzon "Palio" chopsticklike forks and a Christofle red damask napkin.
Perfect Wine Match
A recipe with many diverse ingredients—this one includes sharp, distinctive chard, the curveball of Gorgonzola, caramelized garlic and lemon zest—needs a wine that is able to complement (not compete with) all of its flavors. I think immediately of a Sauvignon Blanc. The naturally grassy quality of this grape matches the fresh green flavors of the chard, while its vibrant acidity cuts through the richness of the Gorgonzola and garlic. While a Loire Sauvignon—Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé—or one from New Zealand would be adequate, their steely natures might prove too severe. I'd look instead for a Sauvignon that's a little riper, softer, more generous, like those from California, Australia and Argentina. My favorites include the 2000 Rosemount (a zesty Australian with flavors of grapefruit and peach and a $10 price tag) and the tropical, juicy 2000 Bodega Norton ($8) from Argentina. From California, I'd opt for the 2000 Sauvignon Blanc from either St. Supéry ($15), which has terrific aromas of melon, lime and grass, or Mason winery ($16) which is more full-bodied and lush.