One of the most basic fundamentals of Italian cuisine is the pairing of wine with various types of dishes. The wine must compliment the dish and either accentuate its taste or clear your palate for the next bite or next course. And while this sounds straightforward enough, it’s easy to see wine tasting as a pseudoscience all to itself. Here is a little guide to get you started.
Wine with Tomato-based Pasta
Tomato-based sauces are usually served mixed with beef or pork, as the red rich taste of the meat bodies well will the acidity of the tomato. To complement this, a medium-bodied wine like a Primitivo would be most appropriate. We highly recommend pairing this wine with our Bucatini All’Amatricana, as the sweetness of our San Marzano tomato sauce works great with it’s slightly softer taste profile.
Cheese is a pretty reliable all-rounder, and it will be tough to find a wine that won’t pair well with it. For extra compatibility, however, focus on the texture of the cheese, and find a wine to go with that. For example, we’d suggest our Ravioli All’Aragosta paired with a Chardonnay, as the creamy texture of the ricotta cheese stuffed within the ravioli will be elevated by the crispness of the wine. A great red wine pairing would be a Teroldego with the Fettuccine Alla Carbonara, as the light taste of the wine would cleanse your palate of the rich cheese, prepping your taste buds for the next bite.
With the Mediterranean being such an integral portion of Italy’s setting, it only makes sense for the Italians to create incredibly lean and acidic white wines to pair with their delicious seafood. For seafood pasta, middleweight white wines like a Pinot Grigio or a Muscadet would go great with most varieties. We highly recommend pairing either with our Ravioli al Formaggio.
These are just the three possible kinds of pasta to be paired with wine. Others include pesto, which goes with herbaceous wines like Sauvignon Blanc the best, or Primavera (vegetable) pasta, which require a white wine like Vermentino. Hopefully, this will help demystify the often confusing world of wine, and if you continue to puzzle over what to pair with your next hearty, carb-rich plate, our servers at Strega Ristorante would be happy to assist you.