If you are anything like me, you must definitely share my love for wine, the wine just makes every meal taste better when you do the right pairing of course!
When planning a delicious meal to share with friends or family, pasta is a perfect choice, but you do need to be careful to choose the right wine and make that dinner party a wonderful experience.
There are two major types of pasta: fresh pasta and dried pasta, but there are actually over 400 variations of those two kinds, and those variations are mainly shape varieties.
Being honest though, pasta is pasta, the only reason for pasta tasting different is the sauce, so when you pair your pasta with wine, you´re not really pairing the pasta but the sauce.
When you choose a tomato-based pasta, then your wine of choice should be a medium-bodied red wine. Why is this? Well, tomato-based sauces are very strong-flavored, they are powerful, and usually, they are also mixed with red meat.
Pasta & Pork Bolognese
The best wine of choice for this dish would be a “Chianti Classico” which is characterized by fruity notes of cherry followed by delicate spicy notes of black pepper; it has a full, harmonious, dry, sapid flavor, slightly tannic. The grape variety is Merlot and Sangiovese, vintage 2014 from Italy.
Shrimp and Pesto Fettuccine
The best wine of choice for this dish would be a “Veneto Pinot Grigio” which has straw color, sometimes intense; to the nose, the bouquet is lasting and fruity, rich in sensations and persistent. The palate is dry, balanced and soft, thanks to its full body high acidity with flavors of green apple and nut. The grape variety is Pinot Grigio (grey), vintage 2016 from Italy.
The best wine of choice for this dish would be a “Soave” which is straw yellow color tending towards greenish reflections; this wine has a vinous, intense, characteristic bouquet. It is a classic dry white wine with a creamy nutty taste. The grape variety is Garganega, Trebbiano, Chardonnay, vintage 2014 from Italy.
Spaghetti Alle Vongole
This classic Italian dish of spaghetti with clams will definitely benefit from a wine of choice such as the “Solandia Grillo” with Yellow color, with bright tints, which precedes a warm, full, fruity bouquet and a stylish, elegant flavor. Grillo is a native Sicilian variety, with fresh Mediterranean scents and a savory, elegant flavor with a typical hint of bitter almonds. The grape variety is Grillo, vintage 2013 from Italy.
This full-flavored pasta dish with strong, punchy flavors is best paired with “Barbera d’Asti Superiore, Casa Sant' Orsola”. This Indigenous Barbera ensures this delightful spicy mellowness and black cherry richness with gentle tannins and fresh acidity. Medium bodied wine. Grape variety Barbera, vintage 2012 from Italy.
This list was compiled with, as you can see, Italian wines, both red and white, hoping you enjoy these pairings!
Now talking about wine, one of the most influential factors that affect wine flavor is, of course, the grape variety used to produce the wine. Discussing some key characteristics of each variety will help you understand the differences, especially between the white and red wine.
1. Cabernet Franc
This is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide, it is mainly a perfect blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Characteristic flavors: coffee, earth, black olive, blueberries, and violets. Best foods to pair with: cured and smoked meat.
2. Cabernet Sauvignon
This is one of the world´s most widely recognized red grape varieties. Characteristic flavors: black cherry, green olive, bell pepper, cassis, herbs. Best foods to pair with: juicy red meat.
Grenache is one of the most widely planted red wine varieties in the world. Characteristic flavors: spice, cherry. Best foods to pair with: roasted vegetables, and white meat.
1. Sauvignon Blanc
This wine is made from a green-skinned grape variety. Characteristic flavors: from grassy to sweetly tropical. Best foods to pair with a Sauvignon Blanc: goat cheese, oysters, green vegetables.
This is an Italian wine, very easy to drink, and made from a grape variety that, unlike other wine grape varieties, is usually also served on the table to be eaten. Characteristic flavors: nectarine, peach, and orange. Best foods to pair with: desserts.
3. Pinot Grigio
Made from a white wine grape variety, a mutant clone of the Pinot Noir variety; it normally has a grayish-blue color. Characteristic flavors: lemons, limes, green apples, and honeysuckle. Best foods to pair with: creamy smoked salmon pasta, lemon chicken piccata, white cheese chicken lasagna.
About the Author: Sara O Brown is a working mom, lives with her dentist husband and her adorable dog, Casper. She is passionate about traveling and cooking. She has been a regular contributor for Find Rare Whisky.