• Salty Market Wines

Fall Is for Pasta Nights With Friends

Cantina La Selva Morellino $17.99, Francesco Rinaldi i Figli Dolcetto $17.99, Verso Rosso Salento $15.99

Reality on Cape Cod has its own rhythm, not quite in sync with the rest of the world. For those who live it, summer goes by in a hectic, 80-hour-work-week flash. And when the rest of the world resumes its "back to school" routine, the Cape Cod locals and washashores come out to play and reconnect. And what better way to do so than over good food and good wine?

Why pasta night? Because it's easy. It's comfortable and familiar. It's about sharing that big bowl of pasta and pouring that extra glass of wine, and we picked some wines you won't be sorry to have one too many of.

Start off with a cheese plate, who doesn't love that? Lay out aged cheeses, salty and full of character. Add prosciutto and sopressata and finish off with some balsamic marinated veggies. And with that, open a bottle of Francesco Rinaldi Dolcetto D'Alba. This Piedmontese grape grows alongside Barolo making Nebbiolos, but ripens a month earlier, making for a distinctive wine low in acidity and high in tannins. A harmonious blend of dry, medium bodied and slightly bitter, this is a quintessential appetizer wine, so pour it with first courses.

When you bring out the pasta, open the Morellino di Scansano. This lively blend of Sangiovese and Merlot is nothing if not food friendly. Lots of red berry flavors and bright acidity from the Sangiovese make it an excellent wine for red sauces ranging from sweet to spicy. The small percentage of Merlot blended it keep this wine grounded and easy to drink, with added friendliness towards meatballs and buttery garlic bread. You'll probably need two bottles of this one!

Finish on a high note with the Verso Rosso Salento. Enjoy this jammy beauty instead or dessert. A blend of Negroamaro, Primitivo and Malvasia Nera, this wine is made with a small percentage of raisin grapes, giving it a deep, Amarone-like character. Fair warning, it might make you reach for another meatball. Or you might just want a second glass all on its own for that bold, ripe fig flavor.

So... have you called up your friends yet?

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