Gavi pairs best with Sushi, Seafood Risotto, Grilled Fish in a lemon sauce, SaladeNiçoise, Spaghetti and Clams, Shellfish, Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese, Focaccia and light Chicken dishes. Gavi is a white wine from Piedmont, Italy and is made entirely from the Cortese grape. Often high in acidity and low in alcohol, Gavi is an aromatic white wine with notes of lemon, lime, minerals, green apples, flowers, grapefruit, herbs and peaches with a nutty almond finish. The mineral and citrus notes are often why Gavi is paired up with seafood dishes, as these notes complement and accentuate the salty-mineral flavours of shellfish and seafood.
You may find Gavi made in a sparkling or ‘Spumante’ style, however, the majority of Gavi is still white wine.
What’s the difference between Cortese di Gavi, Gavi and Gavi di Gavi?
Gavi di Gavi means that the Cortese grapes were sourced directly from the town of Gavi, where Cortese di Gavi and Gavi mean the Cortese grapes came from surrounding vineyards. Aside from the town of Gavi, there are ten other towns that produce Cortese di Gavi. I won’t list all the towns, but five of them are Serravalle Scrivia, Tassarolo, Novi Ligure, Parodi Ligure and Carrosio. I haven’t noticed a difference in quality between Cortese di Gave and Gavi di Gavi as the DOCG rules keep quality consistent in this region, however, your mileage may differ.
The high acidity of Gavi sharpens the Sushi flavours while finishing clean with its lemon and lime flavours and nutty finish. The minerality of Gavi brings a sea-kissed excitement of the ocean to your Sushi, heightening your meal even further.
Many other white wines pair up with Sushi, but what makes Gavi exceptional is its consistency. With the strict DOCG restrictions, Gavi is going to be consistent from bottle to bottle, no matter who is producing it or what year it was produced. There will be variations of course, (one might have pear notes, while another could be peachier), but the overall concept of Gavi will be present.
Seafood Paella & Gavi Pairing
Seafood Paella is a Spanish rice dish that is prepared with squid, lobster, prawns, mussels, clams, perhaps some chorizo, red peppers, butter beans and Saffron. The seafood used in Paella imparts an iodine flavour that the mineral notes in Gavi complement quite well. On top of that, the high acidity accentuates the individual morsels of seafood in each bite of your Paella while providing a refreshing citrus hit on the finish.
Seafood Pesto Pasta & Gavi Pairing
Aside from its notes of citrus, apples, and minerals, Gavi has notes of grass and herbs which complement the green basil, garlic and olive oil flavours found in your Pesto sauce. The sharp acidity of Gavi melds beautifully with the sharp flavours of the pesto, while enhancing the fresh flavours of the sauce. Furthermore, the crisp minerality of Gavi naturally embraces the seafood morsels in your pasta, allowing them to stand out in every bite.
I wouldn’t say Gavi is inexpensive, however, it is affordable and well worth the extra cost to enjoy with Pesto Pasta with Seafood. For Pesto Pasta lacking seafood, Cortese di Gavi still makes for a great pairing, but shave off half a star.
Rosemary Focaccia & Cortese di Gavi Pairing
The herbal and grassy notes of Gavi make for a wonderful pairing with Focaccia as they mirror those savoury Rosemary flavours. The classic minerality of Gavi also complements the sprinkled sea salt that sits atop of your Focaccia. Meanwhile, Focaccia can wear you down as the breadiness and saltiness can dry out your mouth. The refreshing citrus notes of lime, grapefruit and lemon recharges your taste buds, making each new bite of Focaccia taste as delicious as the last.
Antipasto Platter and Gavi di Gavi Pairing
Gavi di Gavi’s minerality and herbal notes love goat cheese, feta, olives, vegetables, olive oil, and herbs, making it a natural pairing with Antipasto. In terms of cured red meat, Gavi won’t complement those components well, but it will offer refreshment against the salty flavours. The high acidity of Gavi ensures it will lift up all the delicious notes found in your Antipasto, and being low in alcohol, Gavi won’t have you requiring a nap before you sit down for the second course.