Is there something more comforting than pasta? The Italian specialty is perfect for both weeknight dinners and memorable occasions.
Pasta is also incredibly varied; there are literally dozens of sauces and hundreds of pasta shapes in Italy alone. The real question is, how to pair pasta with wine? What wine goes well with pasta, anyway? Here’s all you need to know.
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1. The Best Wine for Bolognese Pasta
Let’s start with a classic, the tomato-based sauce with minced beef called Bolognese or ragù. This meaty dinner is hearty and satisfying, and although you can use this famous sauce in lasagna and any pasta, it’s particularly good over spaghetti, and don’t forget the garlic, roast it with one of these.
What wine goes well with Bolognese?
We need a red wine with enough acidity to counter the tangy tomatoes. We also need texture in the form of tannins to balance the meat’s fat and protein. Traditionally, a lovely Italian red wine made with Sangiovese will do the trick, but any other red wine with similar characteristics will work fine. Try a Chianti or a Brunello, they’ll pair perfectly with ragù.
2. The Best Wine for Carbonara
The carbonara is a famous pasta dish from Rome, and it gains its richness from eggs, pecorino and fatty ‘guanciale’ or pork’s cheek. The decadent and creamy pasta is palate-coating and filling, but it’s still incredibly refined.
The right wine for carbonara must be white but needs an assertive personality that won’t back down when put against the flavorful white pasta. An oak-aged Chardonnay is an obvious choice here, especially if treated with malo-lactic fermentation. These buttery white wines are full-bodied and expressive, just what a classic carbonara dish needs. Needless to say, white wines made with the Italian Trebbiano can be full-bodied as well!
3. The Best Wine for Puttanesca Pasta
This rustic, spicy and attractive pasta is a Neapolitan classic, and it makes the most out of olives, pepperoncini, capers and anchovies. How to pair wine with puttanesca pasta? This one is not easy. For starters, the puttanesca is a spicy sauce, and by spicy, we mean hot! What wines go well with spicy food? Sweet wines, of course!
Try a semi-sweet, late harvest white wine or a ‘stickie.’ Sweetness in wine tames the spiciness. At the same time, the wine’s refreshing acidity will cleanse your palate after every bite. Spice up your life with this wine and food pairing!
4. Best Wine With Cacio e Pepe
Cacio e pepe means cheese and pepper, and it’s because, along with olive oil, these are the only ingredients you need to make a mean bowl of pasta that goes back thousands of years to the Ancient Romans.
A delightful midnight crave-quencher and the very definition of beauty in simplicity, cacio e pepe is larger than life. What wine goes well with this famous dish?
Pair pasta cacio e pepe with a crisp white wine like a Frascati, Pinot Grigio or a bubbly Prosecco. The wine’s acidity cuts through the olive oil while letting the delicate scents of freshly cracked black pepper shine through.
5. The Best Wine for Spaghetti Alle Vongole
Spaghetti with clams is a sea-scented specialty, and it’s delicious. The steamy clams tossed with garlic, parsley, olive oil and spaghetti might be a straightforward recipe, but it’s a classic.
The right wine for seafood pasta, in general, comes from the coast, naturally, and many wine styles worldwide fit the bill. Any refreshing and aromatic white wine, from a Muscadet to a Yarra Valley Riesling, will be delicious with fresh seafood over pasta, and that goes for shrimp and lobster as well.
What are your favorite wine pairings for pasta? We’d love to know! Better yet, we’d love you to try our favorite food and wine pairings on a private winery tour to the Yarra Valley. Take a luxury food tour from Melbourne and make all your food and wine pairing dreams come true.