5 Fantastic Wines That Pair with Pasta Dishes
If you are anything like me, you definitely feel a strong love for wine. Wine just makes every meal taste better, especially when you find the right pairing!
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 to 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. (Not unlike wine!)
When it comes down to it though, pasta is pasta. The primary reason that different pasta dishes taste different is because of 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, your wine of choice should be a medium-bodied red wine. Why is this? Well, tomato-based sauces have a very strong flavor, they are powerful, and they are often mixed with red meat. See below for a few of our favorite wine and pasta pairings to get you started!
Pasta & Pork Bolognese
The best wine of choice for this dish would be a Merlot, Sangiovese or classic Italian Chianti, which are characterized by fruity notes of cherry followed by delicate spicy notes of black pepper; they can have full, harmonious, dry, sapid flavors, slightly tannic. The grape varieties can differ in characteristics, but this is a general go-to for Bolognese.
Shrimp and Pesto Fettuccine
The best wine choice for this dish would be a 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), and could also be paired with a nice Viognier.
The best wine of choice for this dish would be a delicate, light-bodied red wine that has an aromatic bouquet of black cherries and spices, with well-rounded tannins. The grape varieties to lean towards would be Grenache and a number of Red Blends. Red Blends can be all over the map when it comes to the finished bottle. Be sure to read up on the style of blend to make sure it's on the lighter side and doesn't over power the carbonara sauce.
Spaghetti Alle Vongole
This classic Italian dish of spaghetti with clams will definitely benefit from a wine of choice such as a Chardonnay with yellow color, with fresh oak and precedes to a warm, full, fruity bouquet and a stylish, elegant flavor. A vibrant Grenache Blanc would also make a wonderful pairing to seafood pasta such as this. Both grapes can be fruit-forward which are also welcome qualities with pasta and clams.
This full-flavored pasta dish with strong, punchy flavors is best paired with a Barbera, a bold Pinot Noir or a Cabernet Sauvignon. The indigenous Italian Barbera ensures this delightful spicy mellowness and black cherry richness with gentle tannins and fresh acidity. Full-bodied wines are a great wine pairing to a hearty pasta such as spaghetti putanesca.
As you can see, this list was compiled with some Italian wines, both red and white. We hope you find these pairings helpful and delicious! Check out the graphic below for a quick and easy pairing chart to consult!
We understand that wine, like food (including pasta) is subjective. You may find that you love a pairing that doesn't align with the graph above, which is totally fine! The recommended pairings are only intended as a reference point to help get you started. Whatever pairings you prefer, we hope you enjoy them to the fullest! Cheers!
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.