Rule #1 in Francis’ guidebook of wines to pair with pasta is simply drinking the wine that you love. Rule #2 is of course drinking what you love. This validates the “no fuss, drink up” attitude. Here’s some truth: No meal has ever been completely ruined by an “improper” wine and food pairing.
Second Rule Pasta Wine Pairings
So drink what you like. That’s the first step in becoming a wine expert. But remember, the wine world is far too rich to drink only what you know you like. Exploring that world is part, if not most, of the fun.
wines to pair with pasta
When it comes to pasta and wines to pair with pasta, there is no shortage of options. From the bright, acidic notes of a crisp white wine to the bold, full-bodied flavors of a robust red, the combinations are endless.
For a classic pairing, try a light-bodied white like Sauvignon Blanc with a creamy dish like fettucine Alfredo in addition to one of the wines to pair with pasta. The smooth, nutty flavors of the wine will match with the rich, creamy sauce and make for a delightful combination.
For a heartier dish like lasagna, try a full-bodied red like a Cabernet Sauvignon. The robust flavors of the wine will pair perfectly with the layers of cheese and tomato sauce, while the tannins will cut through the heaviness of the dish.
For lighter pasta dishes like spaghetti with tomato sauce, pair with a light-bodied red like Pinot Noir. The bright, fruity notes of the wine will bring out the sweetness of the tomatoes and make for a delicious combination.
For a vegetarian option, try a light-bodied white like Chardonnay with a pesto-based dish. The bright, citrusy flavors of the wine will pair perfectly with the nutty, garlicky notes of the pesto.
No matter what type of pasta dish you’re looking to pair with wine, there are endless options to explore. Experiment with different types of wines and pasta dishes to find a combination that you love.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic red wine with notes of blackcurrant, cedar, and tobacco that pairs well with many different foods. The tannins in Cabernet Sauvignon are bold, making them ideal for pairing with rich and flavorful dishes and wines to pair with pasta. A great Cabernet Sauvignon can be paired with a steak dinner, grilled vegetables, or a hearty stew. It also pairs well with dishes like lamb, duck, and other game meats. Cabernet Sauvignon is also the perfect companion for a cheese plate, as the bold tannins will cut through the creaminess of the cheese. The acidity in the wine also brings out the flavors of the cheese. If you’re looking for a sweet pairing, try pairing Cabernet Sauvignon with dark chocolate desserts. The tannins and the sweetness of the wine will compliment each other perfectly. Cabernet Sauvignon is a versatile wine that can be enjoyed with a variety of dishes, and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Pinot Noir is a light-bodied red wine known for its complexity and versatility when it comes to food pairing and wines to pair with pasta. Its flavors of cherry, raspberry, and earthy mushroom make it a great accompaniment to a range of dishes. It can be paired with a variety of dishes due to its low tannin levels and light body. Pinot Noir is a great choice for lighter dishes such as fish, poultry, and pork, as well as richer dishes like beef and lamb. It also pairs well with other complimentary flavors such as mushrooms, tomatoes, and herbs. When it comes to cheese pairings, Pinot Noir works best with creamy, soft cheeses such as Brie and Camembert. Pinot Noir is also a great choice for sipping on its own or with appetizers. Its light, fruity flavors make it a great choice for aperitifs and after-dinner drinks. With its versatile flavor and light body, Pinot Noir is a great choice for any occasion and wines to pair with pasta.
Zinfandel is a popular red wine, known for its bold, spicy and fruity flavor. It is a favorite among many wine lovers, and its versatility makes it a great choice for pairing with a variety of dishes. Zinfandel is especially great for pairing with tomato-based dishes, as the sweet and acidic notes of the wine complement the acidity of the tomatoes. It also pairs well with grilled meats, particularly steak and pork. The tannins in the wine provide a great contrast to the juicy, fatty meats. Zinfandel is also a great match for hearty, winter dishes, such as soups, stews and casseroles, as it adds a layer of complexity to the flavors. For a lighter pairing, Zinfandel is also wonderful with salads, especially when they are topped with a creamy vinaigrette. The unique flavor profile of Zinfandel makes it a great choice for pairing with a variety of dishes, making it a great choice for any wine lover.
Merlot is a type of red wine that is known for its full-bodied flavor and subtle hints of fruit in addition to being one of the wines to pair with pasta. It is a great choice for pairing with food, as it can bring out the flavors in a variety of dishes. Merlot can be paired with many different types of cuisine, from Italian to French to American. It is a very versatile wine, so it can be enjoyed with a variety of dishes. When pairing Merlot with food, it is important to consider the flavors of the food. For instance, Merlot can be paired with meats such as steak, pork, or lamb. It can also be paired with seafood, such as salmon or tuna. Additionally, Merlot can be paired with vegetables and cheese. Merlot is also a great choice for pairing with desserts, as it has a subtle sweetness that can bring out the flavors of cakes, pies, and other sweet treats. No matter what type of food you are serving, Merlot can be a great choice for your wine pairing.
Syrah wine is a full-bodied red wine with a dark purple hue and one of many great wines to pair with pasta. It is known for its robust flavor, which can include notes of blackberry, plum, and pepper. Syrah pairs best with dishes that have bold flavors, such as barbecued meats, grilled vegetables, and aged cheeses. It also pairs well with mushrooms, garlic, and herbs. For vegetarian dishes, try pairing Syrah with roasted vegetables, grilled mushrooms, and creamy sauces. For a classic pairing, try Syrah with steak or lamb. The bold flavors of the wine will bring out the richness of the meat. For a lighter pairing, try Syrah with grilled fish, roasted vegetables, and a light cream sauce. Syrah can also be enjoyed on its own or with milder cheeses. No matter what you choose to pair it with, Syrah is sure to please.
Sauvignon Blanc is a classic white wine that pairs perfectly with a variety of wines to pair with pasta. Its fresh and vibrant flavors of citrus, grass, and bell pepper make it a great choice for seafood, poultry, and pork dishes. Its dry and zesty character makes it great for spicy dishes, as well as salads and creamy sauces. Sauvignon Blanc is also a versatile wine that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a variety of appetizers and desserts. For a light summer meal, try pairing Sauvignon Blanc with grilled vegetables and a light salad. For a rich winter meal, pair it with roasted pork, creamy mushrooms, and mashed potatoes. For a special occasion, try pairing it with a creamy dessert like crème brûlée or a cheese plate. Whatever the occasion, Sauvignon Blanc is sure to bring a lively, flavorful experience to your meal.
Chardonnay is a white wine that is full-bodied and buttery, with flavors of oak, butter, and citrus. It pairs well with a variety of foods, from light seafood dishes to creamy pastas and poultry. When pairing chardonnay with food, it’s important to consider the wine’s body and flavor profile. For dishes with a light flavor, such as sushi or grilled fish, a lighter-bodied chardonnay is a great choice. For more robust dishes like roast chicken or pork, select a fuller-bodied chardonnay with more oak and butter flavors. Additionally, chardonnay pairs well with creamy and cheesy dishes, like macaroni and cheese or risotto. The creamy texture of the wine helps to balance the richness of the cheese. To complete the perfect meal, select a chardonnay with a hint of sweetness, like a late harvest or ice wine, to pair with a decadent dessert or choose some wines to pair with pasta.