quote:Originally posted by cluricaunwines: Try a Barbera Di Alba-
Thanks. Interesting you should suggest that. I've just discovered that a very inexpensive Barbera (less intense than the really good stuff)is the perfect pizza wine--just raises it to a whole new level. A better Barbera might be just the thing for the Fra Diavolo. I'll try it.
Note: not only have I not had your dish, I've actually never had mussles fra diavolo, so take this with a serious grain of salt, but...
It would seem to me, especially if your concern is choosing a wine that won't overpower the mussels yet will stand up to the sauce, that what you are looking for is a fuller-flavored, high acid, white wine, perhaps with a little sweetness to stand up to the spiciness of the dish. I believe the reason wines like Chianti are so good at matching to marinara sauces (and wine like Pinot Noir are not) is that they are quite high in acid, which is basically required because marinara is so high in acid.
If I were serving the dish I would select a middle or eastern European white wine. You might select a Tokay-Pinot-Gris from Alsace, prefferably with a little residual sugar, or an Alcasian Riesling made in the same style. (I'm uncertain that Gewurtzraminer or Muscat would be a good option.) If you were certain you wanted a dry white I would go with an Autrian Riesling such as those produced by Prager, Brundelmeyer, Nigl, F.X. Pichler, etc.
Personally, I would probably go with a German. There are so many great ones out there, but if you are adventureous you might want to locate 2002 Theo Minges Scheurebe Spatlese <Gleisweiler Holle> (sp? -- that is the rough spelling of the name of the vinyard it is from). The wine is about $20 and might really be a terrific compliment to your dish. But, any Reisling (or Scheurebe) Kabinett or Spatlese (and many Qba) from a good producer would be a good, or great, pairing with the dish.
Whatever you decide, let us know how it turned out!
I've re-posted my review of the Minges at the bottom of this page.
2002 Theo Minges Gleisweiler Holle Scheurebe Spatlese. I love Scheurebe. Apricot, peach and passion fruit. A bit of Guava. Some slate. Expressive and delicious, though young. This will benifit from about 5 years of cellaring. 91-91.5
"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?" -- W.C. Fields
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