The best wine with pasta dishes

In this blog, we will be looking at some of the best wines to enjoy with your pasta dishes and sharing with you some of our favourite choices.

So, if you are looking for some inspiration on what wine to choose next time you tuck into your spaghetti or try out a new dish, then check out our suggestions below!

The best red wine with pasta? You need to start with Italian wines!

The best red wine with pasta dishes is Chianti. A rich versatile wine that originated in the Tuscan region of Italy. It has intense flavours of cherries, fruity plum and violets making it the perfect accompaniment to delicious pasta dishes.

Plus this delicious red wine has an interesting history. Firstly, it is synonymous with the famed Castello di Brolio, where this red vintage stays to mature. Secondly, it has an association with tales of romance and heroism which stems from the chivalric order (Order of Knights) who saved Florence after defeat by Siena in 1364 A.D., known as The White Company.

Best white wine with pasta

If you are looking for the best white wine pairing with pasta then there is no better choice than the White Juliet Reisling.

This wine has an amazing lemony scent, which hints at the delicate flavours that this white offers to long-cooked pasta dishes like fettuccine alfredo or spaghetti carbonara.

It also goes well with seafood and fish, so if you are planning on having a fish-based pasta dish then this wine will match perfectly.

Or alternatively, off-dry Rieslings work well too – these wines offer a freshness that can be perfectly balanced by either cream based sauces or tomato based sauces.

Lastly, give Pinot Grigio a try – this is another great wine pairing choice for Italian dishes like spaghetti al Pomodoro or lasagne.

Best Champagne with pasta dishes

How about trying Prosecco? This bubbly grape offers intense flavours of green apples and pear, making it the perfect choice, especially if you stuffed your ravioli or tortellini with peas or mushrooms.

Prosecco also works well when paired with seafood pasta dishes like linguine alle vongole.

Top tips when pairing wine with your pasta dishes

Cream based pasta sauces

With cream based pasta sauces, Gewurztraminer is a great choice as the fresh aromas of jasmine, lychee and honey compliment the richness of the cream. Its floral notes also compliment the basil, tomatoes and garlic that are used in these pasta dishes.

Tomato based sauces

The best wine for a tomato based sauce, for example, if you are preparing spaghetti aglio olio or linguine con vongole is Sauvignon Blanc as its acidic taste will cut through the olive oil and tomatoes.

Cheese based sauces

For cheese based sauces choose a  rich, full-bodied wine that will stand up to the sharpness of the cheese. So, either a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc or an oaked Chardonnay works well here.

Red pesto

If opting for a red pesto sauce,  then a Barbera will work well. This medium bodied red with aromas of sweet ripe plums and cherries will blend very well with the earthy flavour of the pesto.

Green pesto

Alternatively, for green pesto sauces, opt for a dry rosé such as AIX rosé. This most saught after wine will taste good with basil pesto as it offers classy notes of watermelon, strawberries and flowers which will complement the pesto flavours.

What will be the main feature of the dish?

Will you be having Bolognese, seafood, chicken? If opting for seafood, again Sauvignon Blanc is a winner, as its distinct flavour of lemon and grapefruit work well to balance out the saltiness of fresh seafood like squid, prawns or mussels.

For rich red dishes like Pasta Bolognese, Pinot Noir is your best wine pairing choice. Pinot Noir offers flavours of cherry, blackberries and spice that will perfectly balance out the tomatoes, beef or pork in your sauce, although you might also want to drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over your dish too!

Plus, Pinot Noir is a great food wine choice as it is a light-bodied wine that compliments the heaviness of the pasta.

Vegetarian pasta and wine pairings

If you are looking for a healthy eating option when cooking pasta then there are some great vegetarian options. These dishes are made with tomatoes, onions, garlic and parsley which means that not only does it taste great, but it has no added fat or sugar to your meal.

The best wine to compliment your veggie-based pasta is a Sauvignon Blanc. This wine has a light body and crisp taste with aromas of grapefruit, passion fruit and grass that will enhance the flavours in your pasta sauce. Sauvignon Blanc is a popular choice among those of us at the Wine Box as it is so versatile.

Vegetable lasagnas

For vegetable lasagnas, a fruity red Zinfandel is a great choice as it will match the tomatoes and sweetness of the dish. Try to avoid overpowering the flavours too much by opting for one that has more acidity than tannin.

Mushroom pasta

The perfect wine to compliment mushroom pastas is a Pinot Noir. This wine makes for a great choice, as it has flavours of red fruit that will stand up well to the earthy tones in mushroom sauces.

Mushroom based pasta is popular because it is a healthy choice, also allows your dish just enough acidity to stand up well against the creamy sauce base.

If you want an alternative to a mushroom based pasta, you can use whatever vegetables are currently in season. By doing this, not only does it save money, but also you know the ingredients will be fresh and taste amazing!

Butternut squash pasta sauce

For a hearty, wintery pasta sauce you can’t go past this! The key players in this dish are onions, walnuts and garlic which bring great flavour depth to your meal.

When cooking butternut squash pasta, you want to think about the wine pairing as this is where most of the flavour comes from! There are various combinations that work well with butternut squash sauces, although it is recommended to use a Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio because their buttery tones will enhance your dish.

A light Chardonnay has citrus notes alongside its rich creaminess which perfectly compliments the sweetness of butternut squash.

Alternatively, go for a fruitier style by using Pinot Noir – this grape offers fresh red fruits like raspberry and strawberry that will work to provide a hint of sweetness.

Additionally, there is parmesan in the recipe (and who doesn’t love cheese) which would go well with Barolo wine because it has deep red fruit flavours that contrast against each other beautifully. It is important to note that with this meal you need to cook the pasta until al dente rather than fully cooked – otherwise all of your hard work with your sauce will be wasted when it becomes soggy!

Wine pairing for dishes with a bit of spice

White wines

If you are attempting an Asian-inspired spicy dish and looking for white wines then go for a Chenin Blanc which has sweet lemon notes to soften the spiciness making it a great accompaniment.

Red wines

If you are looking for a red wine pairing, try Pinotage which is the national grape of South Africa that offers delicate raspberry scents alongside its spicy flavours.

When thinking about how to cook pasta with ingredients like garlic and chilli, you want to think about pairing it with a wine that has a touch of fruit to neutralise any strong tastes.

Wine pairings for some classic dishes

Best Wine pairings With Spaghetti Carbonara

Carbonara is a popular Italian-inspired pasta dish that includes eggs and cheese, along with pancetta (Italian cured meat) and black pepper. The best wine pairing for carbonara is a Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio because they both offer light toasty flavours that contrast well with the richness of the pancetta and parmesan.

Best Wines With Spaghetti Bolognese

Now onto another classic Italian dish – spaghetti bolognese. That rich sauce is made up of tomatoes, onions, garlic, carrots and celery before being mixed with beef or pork mince. The best wine to enhance these flavours is a Cabernet Sauvignon because it has dark chocolate tones which will complement rich tomato sauces.

A full bodied Merlot is also a great choice as it cuts through the fat and balances the richness. It has a slight sweetness that contrasts against any acidity from a tomato based sauce, making a great pairing for a bolognese. At the Wine Box we have a range of Merlots to choose from.

Best Wines With Lasagna

Now moving away from Italian-inspired dishes, lasagna is actually an American-based pasta filled with ricotta cheese and beef mince.

For a truly American style spaghetti dinner – go for a Shiraz. This grape oozes rich dark fruits such as blackberry, raspberry and mulberry which will go exponentially well with your beef mince sauce.

So there you have it – some of our favourite wine and pasta pairings for you to try. Now just cook your pasta and enjoy!

Photo by Nicholas Grande on Unsplash