Pairing Pasta & Wine: A Beginner’s Guide

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There are those who have made careers out of knowing the best wine and pasta pairings. Maybe, though, you don’t want to become an expert, but you’d like to know your way around a dinner menu without having to rely on the waitstaff or a knowledgeable friend or spouse. If you relate, this guide is for you.

As you continue reading, you’ll see basic information about which types of wines go best with various pasta dishes. Remember, this is meant to help you get started in the world of food and wine pairings, but there’s a lot more you can learn if you find yourself intrigued. Don’t hesitate to take a cooking class or read a book on how wines can enhance any meal experience.

Pasta with Tomato-Based Sauces

If you’re planning to order a dish that features a tomato-based sauce, a medium-bodied red wine is your best bet for a delicious pairing. Tomatoes are highly acidic and medium-bodied reds tend to be tart, which will temper the acidity. There are a variety of options in this category, including Zinfandels, Chiantis, Negroamaros, and Rhone blends.

Pasta with Seafood

Italy is a coastal nation with many seafood-based dishes. Thus, if you visit an authentic Italian restaurant, the odds are good that you will select a dish that features some sort of fish or crustacean. Although there are a variety of wines that pair well with seafood meals, Italian rosés and light- to medium-bodied white wines are great go-to options for novices. Next time your dinner includes seafood, consider Muscadets, Pinot Grigios, and Verdicchios in particular.

Pasta with Cheese

If your intention is to order a cheese-heavy pasta dish, there aren’t a lot of limitations in regard to which wine you should order. Most wines go well with cheese-based dishes! There are, however, a few things you can consider. If your meal includes a creamy cheese, such as ricotta, you might want to opt for a soft, creamy wine; think Chardonnays and Trebbiano. If, on the other hand, your meal features a hard cheese, like parmesan or asiago, Pinot Noirs and Sangioveses are both great options.

The Strega Waterfront waitstaff would love to help you select the perfect wine to pair with your meal next time you dine with us. If you ever have questions regarding your food and wine selection, please don’t hesitate to inquire. We hope, though, that this guide has given you more confidence to start experimenting with new and exciting pairings both at home and out on the town!