Sipping with Grace: Roscato Sweet Red Blend and cherry tomato pasta

The first pairing for the Week of Sweet, a two-part series featuring sweet wines



This is the 2011 Roscato Sweet Red Blend with cherry tomato cream sauce pasta.

JARED GRACE, Evergreen columnist

As the end of the semester draws near, I thought of doing something a little different to go out with a bang. For this week, I will be pairing two sweet wines: a sweet red and a sweet white. For the final week, I will be pairing two savory wines: a savory rose and a savory white. I will be calling these weeks the Week of Sweet and the Week of Savory.

The first wine of the Week of Sweet is the 2011 Roscato Sweet Red Blend, composed of Teroldego, Croatina and Lagrein varietals. Opening with notes of a complex mix of cherry, blueberry, plum and raspberry jam and finishing with buttery chocolate, this wine is an exemplary door to the world of sweet red wines.

Being full-bodied, semi-sweet and having low acidity and medium tannins, this wine has an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 7%, making for a different drinking experience than most reds you will try on the market today.

This is the cherry tomato cream sauce pasta.

I paired this wine with a cherry tomato cream sauce pasta. For this recipe, I sautéed some onions and garlic and chopped some cherry tomatoes into wedges. When the sautée was done, I put the tomatoes in with some extra oil and cooked them with some dry white cooking wine to balance the sweetness of the paired wine.

After the wine is fully cooked off, turn the heat to low and simmer for around one-and-a-half to two hours. When this is done, the tomatoes should look melted, and you can add in the milk and heavy cream and season with salt, pepper and herbs.

If you would like some extra protein for this meal, I recommend grilling some chicken with some olive oil salt and pepper or frying some tofu in vegetable oil.

This pairing works especially well because the wine itself is sweeter than the sweet cherry tomatoes, allowing the wine to shine while also lifting up the flavors of the creamy pasta.

To consume this wine at its best, I recommend opening it and putting it in the fridge 15 minutes before serving. This should chill the wine to about 50–60 degrees while also aerating it enough to release those flavors and aromas.

Winery: Roscato Wine

Varietal: Sweet Red Blend (Teroldego, Croatina, Lagrein)

Vintage: 2011

Locations: Lombardia, Northern Italy

Price: $12–18

Pairing: Cherry tomato cream sauce

I would like to emphasize that this column is not a review; my purpose for writing this series is to provide as much information about a wine as I can so that you can find your niche.

If you would like to inquire about anything I have talked about in these columns or recommend wines for me to pair in the future email me at [email protected].

Drink up!