Parmigiano cheese and Chianti are a classic pairing in Italy.
Many people think of Parmigiano as something you grate over pasta and imagine washing it down with a humble house red out of a straw-wrapped jug (this was a recent Wine Word—do you remember? WineSpeed 03-06-2020). But in Italy, eating chunks of this cheese accompanied by nothing more than a glass of good sparkling wine is considered one of the great gastronomic experiences. True Parmigiana-Reggiano is powerfully flavored, complex, nutty, and salty, and has an almost sweet richness. This combination actually sinks many red wines, making them taste hollow and bland. But a dry sparkler’s cleansing acidity and refreshing bubbles, stand up perfectly to the complexity of the cheese. There are many delicious options available, from Prosecco Superiore de Conegliano Valdobbiadene (WineSpeed 07-26-2019) to Lambrusco and Franciacorta (all Italian), to something like our Wine to Know this week—Roger Goulart Cava.