Bu the name had changed since I was last there, to Enoteca Otto Pizzeria. The menu had changed too, and my favorite pasta dish—the elegantly understated bavette cacio e pepe—wasn’t on the list. Famished and thirsty, I pointed to a margherita pizza and the first pasta dish that caught my eye—the bucatini all’ Amatriciana.
For a wine, I went with something familiar, what was simply listed as “Friulano Bastianich 2008” on the list, $13 for a 250ml pour. It was terrifically aromatic and spicy, with plenty of citrus and melon flavors and a wonderfully full, fleshy body. I rated the wine 86 points, non-blind.
The pasta dish was a revelation—thick strands of chewy pasta with an intense, slightly spicy tomato sauce accented by guanciale and onions. (Since I’ve been home, I’ve ordered this dish in another restaurant and made a version at home with pancetta.) The pizza was perfect—with a thin, crunchy crust and simply dressed. My wine choice went surprisingly well with both dishes. Pairing tomato-based dishes with wines can be tricky, but it seems that full-bodied, spicy whites such as this Friulano work exceedingly well.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Bastianich Friulano Colli Orientali del Friuli 2008 (87, $16).
• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for recently rated Top Values among Italian whites.