Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
If you want to get a sense of the scale of Italian wine, you could do worse than to go to VinItaly, the annual wine-related trade fair in Verona, Italy. I was there a few days ago, along with, according to the VinItaly press office, more than 140,000 other people - roughly the population of Fort Collins, Colorado, if every inhabitant of Fort Collins were obsessed with Italian wine. Regardless, being in Italy means the opportunity to eat, regularly, platefuls of fantastic pasta.
Since I’ve got pasta on the mind - in fact, since I’m mostly composed of pasta at the moment - here are some thoughts about pairing wine (Italian wine, of course) with some classic pasta dishes. Of course, the actual pasta itself doesn’t make much difference: When it comes to wine-pairing, a rigatoni is a penne is an orecchiette. Pasta alone is the ultimate blank food canvas; what matters is the sauce.
Joe Bastianich is a restaurateur, winemaker, author and a judge on the FOX series "MasterChef." An avid runner, Joe has competed in numerous marathons and triathlons and will be tackling his first full Ironman in Kona this October. With that experience in these two worlds, he offers The Chart's Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge community his thoughts on having satisfying meals while training.
Whether you are already athletic and looking to up your game with a triathlon, or are just beginning your journey on the road to getting fit, what you put in your body plays a big role in the performance you’ll get out of it.
We’ve been taught to think of food – especially carbs – as our enemy, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Food is what fuels our bodies, allowing us to physically push ourselves to reach our own potential for fitness and athleticism. But when we think about a diet to match a healthy active lifestyle, too often we mistakenly buy into the old adage that getting in shape means resigning to a bland and unsatisfying diet of meager proportions. For someone who’s spent their entire life in some of the best Italian restaurants in the country, bland, meager, and unsatisfying just isn’t going to cut it.
Previously - Joe Bastianich's rock 'n' roll dreams
Get the full recipe for Ellie Krieger's Spaghetti with tomato & almond pesto on Morning Express
If photos and posts throughout the food blogosphere are to be taken at face value, every single household in the Western hemisphere is chowing down on porn-perfect Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes (made of course with leftover homemade lemon curd you had languishing in the fridge #duh #winning), Meyer Lemon Pizza with Goat Cheese and Bacon and Quadruple Chocolate Pistachio Cupcakes on the regular.
That's lovely for you. Can I come over? I'll even bring bourbon, 'cause I know even I won't screw that up.