Pasta and wine are very complementary and regularly served along with each other. However, choosing the wrong kind of wine can diminish the entire experience. If you don’t want that to happen to you and your guests, you need to keep on reading.
Here we will reveal the top seven wines that are commonly used with various pasta dishes.
Top seven wines to pair with pasta dishes
Cabernet Sauvignon is a highly popular wine that is loved because of its highly acidic properties, savory character, and complex flavors. Some of the primary flavors that accompany Cabernet Sauvignon include black currant, as well as several other overtones such as vanilla, mint, cherry, and in some cases even cassis, cedar, spice, and coffee. Then there is the fact that it is rich in tannin, which makes it perfect for pasta featuring tomato sauce. Last but not least, it is the high acidic content that complements the acidity of the tomato sauce and makes the wine and the pasta co-exist in harmony.
Zinfandel is rich in both alcohol and tannin. This dark-colored wine is available in several full-bodied styles. It is the tannin content that makes it an ideal candidate for tomato-based pasta. The fact that Zinfandel has a peppery and spicy flavor, often with notes of cherries and berries, make it even more complementary with the tomato sauce. On the other hand, if you have a lighter version, then know that it goes nicely with cream-based pasta, bolognese, sausage-based sauces, meatballs, and spaghetti.
Thanks to its earthy and fragrant character, Pinot Noir can be served with any tomato-based sauce. If you have a fruitier version of this wine, you might want to open it when on the menu, you have cream-based pasta. That makes Pinot Noir pretty versatile wine. Furthermore, this wine goes well with pesto-based sauces and mushroom pasta. The fact that this wine is considered as sensual wine means that it is ideal for a romantic diner that includes a pasta dish.
Chardonnay is one of the most popular varieties in the world that, at the same time, goes nicely with pasta that includes creamy sauces. Not many other wines can complement a cream-based pasta in the same manner as Chardonnay can. Oaked Chardonnay is known to go well with mushroom-based pasta and spaghetti carbonara. If you are preparing a vegetarian pasta, then you should opt for young Chardonnay, and not an oaked one. Green pesto and cheese-based sauces are known to go well with light Chardonnay.
People love Riesling because of its food-friendly nature and versatility. It is a very aromatic wine that often features notes of pear, peach, and apple. Sometimes it comes with floral notes and hints of honeysuckle. Experienced wine aficionados and sommeliers recommend it with mushroom-based, stuffed, and cream-based sauces. Thanks to its spicy and sweet flavor, it also goes nicely with a spicy pasta.
Merlot is a smooth and fruity wine that can be served with any tomato-based pasta. It doesn’t contain too much tannin, which makes it a mild wine variety. However, it does not mean it is a simple wine that lacks complexity. If it is a full-bodied Merlot, then it should be matched with bolognese and meaty lasagnas. If you plan to add bacon or pancetta to the pasta, you should opt for a light-bodied version. Merlot doesn’t go too well with a cream-based pasta sauce.
Sangiovese is a highly tannic and very fruity wine is not as mild as Merlot, nor as strong as Cabernet Sauvignon. That makes it one of the most food-friendly wines in the world, especially if it is a tomato-based pasta is on the menu. Thanks to its violet and cherry flavor, as well as its vibrant acidity, make it even more complementary to any tomato-based pasta. Its fruity components make it suitable for pesto-based pasta that contains garlic and basil.
By now, you probably have a pretty good idea of how to match the different types of pasta with various wines. However, much of the wine and pasta pairing needs to be based on your preferences. Can’t go wrong with any of these seven wines, but if you want to try something else, go ahead and serve it. You never know when you can discover a killer combination.