Italian food, one of the world’s great cuisines, is well matched with many wines. Not all of those wines need be Italian; there are many great choices. All it takes is a talented wine lover to develop a good list, and that’s what you’ll find when you go to Zia Lina Ristorante in downtown Tahoe City.
Working through the wine list, there were many wines that paired well with their dishes. Here are some of my favorites… go and try them yourself!
To begin, a Villa Sandi Prosecco Brut, DOC Treviso, Italy. The light bubbly was fresh tasting, with citrus tones, a touch of herbs, nice minerality and a pleasant acidity. 11 per cent alcohol, $8/glass, $28/bottle.
With the Caprese salad, we paired the 2011 Truckee River Winery’s White Barn Pinot Gris. Grapes are from the Apple Hill region near Placerville in El Dorado county, California. Winemaker Russ Jones has produced a wine that is crisp and clean with hints of pears and apples, and a touch of nut. 12.8 per cent alcohol, $9/glass, $28/bottle.
The 2010 Ceretto Blange Arneis from Italy’s Piedmonte region was served with the artisanal cheese plate. Arneis is a winegrape that is native to Italy. This is a fruit-forward white wine, with hints of apple and pear, honey and almond, a bit frizzante with a nice acidity, and characteristically earthy like many wines from Piedmonte. 13 per cent alcohol. $10/glass, $34/bottle.
Also a nice match with cheeses is the 2010 Keenan Chardonnay, Spring Mountain, Napa. This small family-owned winery that produces a very classic California Chardonnay. Buttery, oaky, taste of pear and citrus…vinified by Nils Venge, a legendary Napa winemaker. 13.9 per cent alcohol. $38/bottle.
With the arrival of the crispy risotto, we moved to red wines. The 2009 Lincourt “Lindsay’s” Pinot Noir from Santa Rita Hills in the Central Coast region of California, has good red fruit flavor with layers of black cherry and leather, and lots of spice. 14.5% alcohol. $11/glass, $36/bottle.
The 2010 Peccinino Dolcetto di Dogliana, a Chianti from San Luigi in the Piedmonte region of Italy is a wine that, in my opinion, is very meat friendly although we paired it with one of Zia Lina’s create-your-own pizzas. It’s a nice earthy wine with dark fruit aroma and flavor, strawberry and black pepper, and that trademark Dolcetto nose of violets. Yum. 13 per cent alcohol. $28/bottle.Zia Lina Ristorante is at 521 North Lake Blvd, Tahoe City. Open daily from 5 to 9:30 p.m. For reservations or to-go orders, call 530 581 0100