Wine pairings with pesto

I’m doing a radio cooking show tomorrow night (Tuesday, 10/3, 7PM eastern, stream it here!) where I’m doing some Italian home cooking.

One of my dishes is pesto, and I wanted to talk about wine pairing with it. I have always paired it with a Sauvingon Blanc, to match the herb flavors, but I’ve seen recommendations that range as far as Zinfandel.

Any thoughts from the winos around here?

You can put me down for Zinfandel, but I’ve been known to buy it in a box.

BTW got a recipe for artichoke lemon pesto?

friend dr j,

i drink zinfandel at any given opportunity. it is one of my favorites. that being said, i would have no quarrel with your choice with pesto. i would be interested to try some of the spanish reds with it.

btw: stop by and see us at the parlor. we miss your posts

How about Pinot Grigio? Doesn’t have herby notes, but good balance for the oil and richness.

I’d second that, although Pinot Grigio can be a bit bland if you’re not careful.

I also like Orvieto with Pesto - similar to Pinot Grigio in style.

A nice midrange Soave can be chock full of herb flavored goodness, especially if they blend a bit of chardonnay in with it. Don’t get the cheap stuff however, it’s usually as bland as tap water.

I have a Primitivo (the Italian Zinfandel) that I’m going to take, so I guess I’m looking for a white more than anything. I’ve always found Pinot Grigio pretty dull, but I’ve had some Pinot Gris that was pretty good.

The menu is proscuitto e melone, penne with marinara and with pesto, and espresso panna cotta.

I was knocking back some lovely Soave in Italy this summer… had a bit more nose than a lot of the stuff I’ve had in the UK

Same stuff, different name. Same grape, anyway.

  • Tamerlane

Try the Estancia on shelves now, I think an '03 or '04. It’s the most flavorful I’ve come across and I imagine it’d be very complimentary with a pesto.

Primitivo is probably the best choice of all, though if you want a different white I think you could probably also go with a dry or off-dry gewurztraminer (or really any Alsace white). Gewurztraminer was originally an Italian wine, so it can still fit the Italian theme. You could also do a dry sparkling white. Some varieties of Chardonnay would be all right too, but there’s so many of those out there it’d be easy to pick wrong.

I was first introduced to home-made pesto by a very nice lady who served it with a chenin blanc that was kind of sweet, but not heavy.

I have no idea whether any of us knew what we were doing, but we all enjoyed it immensely.

I like a nice dry rose (NOT a sweet rose like White Zinfandel) with pesto. There are some good, inexpensive dry roses from southern France.