Marinara Pasta + Tuscan Blend (Sangiovese)

Did I mention I love pasta? Nothing—NOTHING—beats a simple, fresh heirloom tomato marinara sauce on good spaghetti pasta. 

So when you’re choosing a wine to go with this perfection of a dish, you need to pick something that will enhance—and not overwhelm—those special flavors. That’s why I go with a local Italian wine: Sangiovese. This particular one is 2011 Cala De’ Poeti Maremma Toscana I.G.T. 

This bottle is actually a “super-Tuscan” blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. But the focus is really on the bright cherry flavors of the Sangiovese, and the Cab/Merlot are mainly there for backbone. For a highly acidic dish like tomato pasta, you also want a wine with acidity to match—otherwise, the food will overwhelm the wine and make it lose its flavor. 

A Sangiovese blend is perfect here because you get the simple fruit notes of cherry, blackberry, and plum, balanced alongside the simple tomato and pasta flavors. Simplicity at its finest!