Combine this beef fillet with an age-appropriate Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile or Chianti Classico Reserva and you will be in heaven. Virtually any wine goes well with cheese, so the combinations with pasta and cheese dishes are endless. But to give you an idea of what would complement the cheese, a good light white wine like Chardonnay would bring out the creaminess of the cheese. Lighter red wines like Pinot Noir also go well with hard cheese noodles like Spaghetti Carbonara.

Italian Food Wine Pairing Chart

Brassato al Barolo and Langhe Nebbiolo are a classic combination of food and wine. When cooked in wine, Brassato al Barolo is tender and very meaty. All regions of Italy were united for historical, political and economic reasons. Each has unique local gastronomic specialties, ingredients and traditions. Below are just a few regional Italian dishes and wine pairings. If you’re looking to learn more and live near Philadelphia, take one of our Food and Wine Pairing classes.

Common Ingredients In Italian Cuisine That Promote Good Health

Yummly’s food and wine pairing cheat sheet is here to guide you. Some of the most delicious and surprising combinations can have complex tastes, but they’re not that complicated. The classic food and wine combo in Tuscany are Bistecca Fiorentina and Sangiovese. Tuscany is known for its rustic red wine and incredible hills covered with pine trees. The cuisine is humble and intimate, save for the over-the-top Bistecca Fiorentina, a great ribeye that needs a hefty wine by its side.

Although there are exceptions, Italian wines tend to be dry, acidic, medium-bodied, not very alcoholic, and have pleasant, but not surprising, flavors. It is this balanced combination of properties that makes Italian wines the perfect accompaniment to food. Known for its robust yet simple taste, Pinot Grigio is a white wine that brings out the appeal of pesto. If you have bread with your meal, talk to your waiter about the best types of bread that will bring out the best flavor in your wine so that they can fully complement your meal.

A Meal

There is an old saying about combining food and wine: “When it grows together, it goes together.” Another way to find the perfect pairing table is through the kitchen. If you’re looking for the perfect wine for your classic French dish, a French food and wine guide might recommend a muscadet with oysters. If you have a top star ingredient in mind and want to base your food and wine pairing on it, do an Ingredient Search for a wine table. For example, a cheese wine pairing table might suggest a dry white wine with Gruyère cheese or a classic sherry with Manchego. If you are just discovering wine pairing and are ready to go beyond red wine with red meat and white wine with fish, you’ve come to the right place.

  • When cooked in wine, Brassato al Barolo is tender and very meaty.
  • The cuisine is humble and intimate, save for the over-the-top Bistecca Fiorentina, a great ribeye that needs a hefty wine by its side.
  • In Campania, a classic pairing is risotto alla pescatora and falanghina.
  • Below are just a few regional Italian dishes and wine pairings.

A great option is Zinfandel, which not only mixes the rich tones of a flavorful pasta sauce note by note, but also adds its own flair to indulge your taste buds. Here is a little guide to help you choose the best wine to go with your meal. Whether you’re eating pizza, seafood, decadent fine bread, or a traditional pasta dish, the right wine can make all the difference in making your meal just amazing. Use this guide the next time you go to your favorite Italian grill for exquisite cuisine so you don’t get confused when the wine list comes to you.

Prosciutto E Funghi: Tomato Sauce, Mushroom Or Porcini Mushrooms, Ham Or Prosiutto, Mozzarella

Take a look at the region the wines are from and choose foods or ingredients from that region. Be aware of the vegetables and spices that are popular in the region the wine is from and look for dishes with these characteristics. Remember that the soil that fruits and vegetables grow and the grass that native animals eat is the same foundation for grapevines. They feed on the same nutrients and therefore have similar flavors.

Italian Food Wine Pairing Chart

The Apulian specialty Rigatoni Ragu Barese, for example, is a rustic, tomato-based meat dish. A dish like this needs a wine accompaniment with enough energy to withstand roasted tomatoes and red meat. Tannin and fat actually work quite well, so an oily fish like salmon would go well with a red wine. The reason it doesn’t work is because the tannin in the wine and the fat in the fish cancel each other out, leaving you with a residual fishy taste. Basically, this combination brings all the negative aspects of each component to the fore, like the final taste in the mouth.

Dry White

The food and wine pairing guide we’ve put together gives you options, whether you’re looking for the perfect wine for your plate or vice versa. For example, a grilled chicken dish goes with many great wines, not just Chardonnay. A light red like a Pinot Noir or a medium red like Zinfandel or Merlot can be good companions. For a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, fresh, roasted vegetables can be just as sufficient as lighter fish dishes. Sparkling wine goes very well with hard and soft cheeses like Brie and Gouda, as well as with starch (in other words, it’s perfect on a cheese board). Understanding the combination of food and wine is just as important to creating brilliant dishes as it is to avoiding gastronomic disasters.

Italian Food Wine Pairing Chart

Has all this talk about pairing food and wine left you hungry for the best Italian food in Mountain View? We invite you to join us at Cucina Venti where you will not only enjoy incredible Italian cuisine but also help pair it with the best wines. The high tannin content of this wine makes it ideal for pasta dishes based on tomatoes, which are rounded off by the spicy and tangy taste of the zinfandel.


The wrong wine in combination with spicy food can overwhelm the dish and change the taste. That is why pasta with spicy sauces such as arrabbiata, aglio olio e pepperoncino and puttanesca should be combined with a crisp, strong wine. You can opt for a dry white wine such as Reisling or a bright red Zinfandel. Chianti is perhaps one of the most popular wines to accompany Italian dishes. Chianti is a very dry red wine that is best paired with a cheese platter or a light salad, although you can pair Chianti with any meal for a true Italian dining experience. Ask your waiter which dishes his restaurant recommends for Chianti wine so that you can enjoy both your drink and your food to the fullest.

The flavor adaptability of pasta makes it a universally popular dish, but makes it a challenge to pair with the perfect wine glass. The flavors that you mix with your spaghetti plate determine which wine fits in your glass: red or white, dry or sweet. Since pasta dishes with tomato sauce are sour, they are best paired with a medium-strength red wine. A wine that does not match the acidity of the sauce will make the wine taste bland. An example of the perfect red wine for a tomato sauce would be a Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel. When you add more fullness like meat, it increases in the body.

The most important grape varieties are Greco, Falanghina and Fiano. We talked about linguine with clams and spaghetti with prawns; Medium-bodied white wines go well with these dishes. In order not to drown out the freshness and taste of the seafood, usually pair your dish with a crisp, dry white wine like Pinot Grigio.

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The science of wine pairing can be reduced to the molecular level. French sommelier François Chartier argues that aromatic molecules found in food and wine act as sensory bridges. Cabernet Sauvignon and raspberries, for example, can be combined well, as both contain beta-ionone, which is noticeable in its aromatic qualities. The pasta is simply a canvas to supply the ingredients to go with.

Use This Simple Illustration To Find Out Which Wine Goes With Your Favorite Foods

A light, crunchy and fragrant Vernaccia white wine from San Gimignano in Tuscany is suitable for all fish dishes and light cream sauces. Vermentino, a white grape grown in Sardinia and other areas along the Mediterranean coast, is another perfect combination of seafood. Combine Chardonnay with Alfredo dishes or any cuisine that calls for a lighter meat, such as chicken or mussels. Chardonnay is also a great wine to choose if you don’t consider yourself a wine lover, as Chardonnay has a pleasant taste that won’t overwhelm your palate.

Italian Food Wine Pairing Chart

To aid and organize the art of wine pairing, many people use a wine pairing table, which provides visual guidance for pairing food and wine. If you love a fun, fruity wine, don’t be afraid to pair Pinot Gris with any dish that calls for a light butter sauce or your favorite cheese. Your waiter will be happy to show you the seasonal wine list, which focuses on fruity and decadent wines. The richer the red sauce on your pasta or pizza plate, the spicier and stronger your red wine should be.

Marinara: Tomato Sauce, Garlic, Olive Oil

As such, wine and food have a long-term relationship that has resulted in classic food and wine pairings. For wine lovers around the world, pairing is an essential way to fully enjoy wine. Combining wine with the perfect food highlights the best of both by balancing and harmonizing the flavors.

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Once you have some of the basics of how to pair the body of a wine with a plate, how to soften the spices, balance the fat, or balance the acid, you have plenty of room to reef and explore. Then when you are faced with a meal with no obvious wine pairing, for example Korean BBQ with lots of kimchi and spicy side dishes, you can experiment. See the theory of combining food and wine in action with this easy-to-use table. Then you will understand the simple science behind food and wine pairing based on our basic sense of taste. Italian wines are generally suitable for eating and complement a variety of dishes.

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