BY YVETTE BROWN
From pasta to pizza and popcorn to fruit, wine goes with just about any meal or dessert, but the question isn’t what wine goes with, instead it’s about the best pairings for it. There are plenty of restaurants that specialize in many delicious dishes that go hand-in-hand with red or white wine.
Located in Whitestone, in a cozy, dim lit environment, stands an Italian restaurant, which specializes in different types of wine, especially red wines. Their thin crust handmade pizza made in a hot brick oven goes well with their red Opici Chianti red wine. The pizza is made with original ingredients and from their Margherita pizza, made fresh with mozzarella, tomato sauce and basil, to their traditional pizza, made with sliced tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil and fresh mozzarella.
Another one of their great pairings is with their lighter wine, Moscato. This sweet white wine goes well with their heavier pasta meals or even their chicken. Their Pollo Piccata is chicken with capers in a white wine lemon sauce, so the Moscato matches a similar flavor to the chicken, making it a meal that’s both sweet, yet tangy because of the lemon sauce. Their Penne Alla Vodka is also best with their white Moscato wine. The pasta has a bit of Grey Goose vodka, marinara and a touch of heavy cream. This restaurant has true Italian style and food, it’s no wonder the wine pairings with their meals are fresh and true to their flavor.
Papazzio Italian Restaurant
Located in Bayside, this Italian restaurant offers more than just your average pasta and pizza to go with their different wines as well.
Keep it simple and go with their chicken ceasar wrap for lunch, made with grilled chicken, romaine lettuce and a ceasar dressing that compliments the simplicity of a sweet white wine. Or go for a bit more of a luxurious meal like their grilled rack of lamb or their grilled ribeye. The rack of lamb is single-cut with a port wine reduction, it goes well with their stronger red wines to offer a bitter taste that combines well with both the lamb or the ribeye, which is made grilled to perfection and served with garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed vegetables.
Much like Villaggio’s, Papazzio Restaurant has a wine menu offering wines like Moet and Chandon Imperial Champagne from Epernay France, Stellina di Notte Pinot from Grigio, Italy, Campobello Chianti from Italy and Sterling Vineyards Merlot from Napa Valley, California.
With Italian wine and Italian food, this restaurant proves that wine was designed to go with Italian food, they’re a pair that were truly made for each other.
La Vigna Italian Restaurant & Bar
Much like the previous Italian, La Vigna, located in Forest Hills, has some amazing wine pairings for their appetizers, lunch and dinner.
As an appetizer, their crab cakes and calamari are the perfect lightweight combination meals to enjoy a nice glass of red wine with. For their main entrees, they serve risotto, pasta, veal, lamb, pesce, chicken and different cheeses. Their Risotto Frutti de Mare consists of assorted seafood in light tomato sauce, while their Risotto ai Funghi Selvatici consists of Italian Arborio rice with wild mushrooms and parmigiano cheese, which work well with a simple white wine like their Chardonnay from Sterling California. La Vigna serves Ravioli consisting of homemade cheese ravioli in light tomato and basil sauce. This is served great with their Carbernet Sauvignon red wine from Sterling, Nappa Valley, California, while their Cavatelli con Briciold di Salsiccia, made with bits of sausage, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, garlic and olive oil, which pairs well with their Carbernet Sauvignon Reserve from Hayman Hill California.
There’s no doubt that wine goes well with so many meals and pastries, but one thing is for sure and that’s the fact that you can never go wrong when it comes to wine and Italian food.