It seems that many of my selections for a Meatless Monday Wine Pairing have skewed too heavily towards white wines, so for a Spinach and Mushroom Pasta Bake I have a red wine that can step up to meet the challenge of vegetables. With a creamy, homemade bechamel sauce, earthy mushrooms, acidic tomatoes, and the, um, green notes of spinach, Cabernet Franc is a grape well-suited to this dish. Look for versions from France's Loire Valley, which have a lightness and elegance to them, plus lively acidity to handle all those vegetable components. And with the kick of crushed red pepper, Loire Valley Cabernet Franc is also a great wine to chill down a bit in the fridge; served cool, it will provide welcoming sips that won't exaggerate the heat from the red pepper.
Get out on the patio and under an umbrella with this pasta bake and wine combo!