Passimento Bianco Pasqua 2015

Passimento Bianco Pasqua 2015, Italy, 13.5%

(from £7.99, Majestic or via Wine Searcher)

Oooooh but this Passimento Bianco by Pasqua is yummy!

It’s also seriously versatile with food. And you need versatility when you’re trying to find a wine to go with confit chicken wing with blue cheese mousse and pickled pumpkin. Such was my task for Saturday Kitchen last weekend – as set by chef Michael Wignall.

Though a bit complicated to put together, the dish was original and delicious – a real discovery. (I’d rather have a chef to do it for me, though!) The tasting was revelatory too. We tried a few reds and softer ones weren’t bad: think southern Italy.

But whites worked best. It was important to have some richness and fruit weight, to offset the saltiness and intensity of the blue cheese. But freshness was also key – the pickled pumpkin had a real tang to balance the dish and this meant the wine had to match up in this regard too.

New Zealand Pinot Gris worked well. But this Passimento just sang. It’s made partly with dried grapes, which give it that extra richness and body, and that’s the key to the wine’s versatility. The dish also involves pear, which suits the fruit spectrum of this white.

‘Lovely,’ proclaimed Michael. ‘It’s got a nice bit of acidity, a little bit of sweetness: perfect with the pumpkin, really nice.’ Jason Atherton described it as, ‘Great: beautiful match, clean flavour, blue cheese can overpower stuff but it goes really well together.’

(7/10, Susie, Nov 2016)