To accompany pasta with a tomato-based sauce, I usually prefer a red wine--maybe a Cotes du Rhone or Cotes du Rhone Villages. But this sauce featured crab meat and was spiced with lemon and cilantro. Mmmmmmmmm. But how about a wine to match up with the broad flavors of the crab meat and the high acid of the lemon and cilantro? This Barbera d'Asti from the Piedmonte region of Italy turned out to be an excellent choice.
The color is a beautiful deep, saturated ruby red. You can see the good smells and flavors before you even put your nose in the glass. Powerful red cherry aromas with lots of uplift, almost to the point of volatility. Very Italian in its approach, featuring macerated skins rather than oaky tannins. In the mouth, the wine has a silky texture and lovely ripe flavors front to back--as delightful as a bowl of fresh cherries. The acidity is perfect for the pasta dish and keeps me coming back for sip after sip.
Barbera from the Piedmonte is nearly always good. Villa Giada's Barbera d'Asti is particularly fine in the 2005 vintage and is fairly widely available for about $12 a bottle.