Italy has a long and proud culinary tradition. And, of course, no Italian meal would be complete without the perfect glass of wine! But what kind of wine pairs best with different Italian dishes? Read on for an essential guide to pairing Italian dishes with the perfect bottle of vino.
Pairing Wine With Pasta Dishes
You can’t go wrong with a nice Chianti with fresh pasta dishes. This full-bodied red has bold fruit flavors that cut nicely through the richness of pasta sauces like carbonara or bolognese. For lighter sauces like pesto or anything creamy, try a Soave or Pinot Grigio. These white wines have subtle citrus notes that bring out the flavor in your dish without overpowering it. Another great option is a sparkling Prosecco. Its light bubbles make it the perfect accompaniment to creamy dishes like risotto.
Pairing Wine With Pizza
A classic Margherita pizza is best paired with a light red wine like a Barbera or Valpolicella. The tart acidity in these wines complements the tomato sauce while cutting through any heavy cheese topping. If you’re having something more elaborate, like a pepperoni pizza, try going for something more full-bodied such as Amarone Valpolicella Classico. This robust red has hints of dark cherry and plum that are sure to bring out the flavor in your favorite pizza toppings!
Pairing Wine With Seafood
For seafood dishes like calamari fritti or spaghetti alle vongole, you’ll want something light and refreshing, such as Pinot Grigio or Vermentino di Gallura DOCG from Sardinia. These crisp whites have bright fruit flavors and delicate herbal notes that make them perfect for highlighting the delicate flavors in fish dishes. For heartier seafood recipes like cozze al Sugo di Pomodoro (mussels in tomato sauce), you can pair them with an aromatic white such as Gavi di Gavi or Arneis from Piedmont—the bright acidity lifts all the complex flavors in this dish!
Picking out just the right wine for your Italian meal doesn’t have to be difficult – remember to pick something that complements your dish rather than overpowering it. Red wines typically pair well with heavier pasta and pizza dishes, while light whites are better suited for seafood recipes.
For an outstanding culinary and wine experience, reserve a table at Trattoria Toscana in Temecula, CA. Chef Pietro Cinus, a native of Italy’s Sardinia Island, creates unique Italian dishes paired with wines from his homeland.
Do you want to take your wine-pairing skills to the next level?
Make a reservation for one of our Wine Pairing Dinners. Each event features Chef Pietro and Italian wine expert Petra Belliti, who guides you through a delicious meal and teaches you the essential techniques for expertly pairing wine with Italian dishes.
Whether you’re an experienced sommelier or just starting to explore the world of wine, this guide can help you find the perfect bottle of vino to complement your favorite Italian dishes. Buon appetite!