Gnocchi Test: Vermentino vs. Garnacha

Ah yes, those candles definitely make this frozen Trader Joe’s gnocchi (enhanced with peas and chicken sausage) look far more romantic!

I tested this easy-peasy dinner with two wine pairings:

  1. Italian Vermentino: A crisp, citrusy and herb-driven white wine, which I’ve reviewed here.
  2. Spanish Garnacha: A bright red wine with a good level of acidity and rich red fruit flavors (think: cranberry, strawberry, apple, and some pepper). This one can be found here.

This is one of those types of foods that’s hard to mess up with wine. Generally, high cheesiness levels will balance out any tannins or acidity in a wine, making it just taste more delicious. Of course, I complicated things by adding spicy sausage—but that’s why I tried a refreshing white and a higher-acid red; both attributes help ease spice without completely removing it from the equation.

Both wines taste pretty good with cheesy, sausage-y gnocchi. But, they add different types of flavors that you may or may not prefer depending on your preferences:

  • The Vermentino does a great job of brightening up the overall meal. Its herbal notes help bring out the herbs and spices in both the sausage and the sauce.
  • Meanwhile, the Garnacha adds some deeper, more complex layers of spice to the food, enhancing the savory/meaty flavors in the sausage at the same time.

For me, I love the effect of the Vermentino because you can still taste the original flavors of the food. BUT the Garnacha definitely adds a delicious component as well. So it’s really up to your preference—and what wine you happen to have open!