Pasta and Wine Pairings
Lazio’s famous hollow pasta is the perfect palette for rich, creamy burrata cheese. Complement the dish’s buttery flavor with a “shy Italian” like Dolcetto, a light-bodied Sauvignon Blanc from Friuli, or an intensely aromatic white such as a Traminer Aromatico.
The tannin in a Sangiovese strikes a perfect balance with the richness of the creamy Carbonara. Or go with the peppery-pear notes of a northern Italian classic like Fruilano to complement the whole eggy, bacon-studded dish.
Slightly bitter greens like broccoli rabe require flavorful, robust reds. Southern Italian wines like a Susumaniello or a Negroamaro-Cabernet Sauvignon blend balance the flavor well, or go with a classic from Tuscany, such as a medium-bodied Chianti Classico with firm tannins.
This springtime veggie is notoriously hard to pair with wine, unless you’re serving it with a rich, creamy sauce. If you’d prefer to let the asparagus shine, then opt for a lemon-bright white like Frascati Superiore, or a subtly fruity Friulano.
Made with just Pecorino Romano and freshly cracked black pepper, this classic pasta dish is simplicity itself. Celebrate its Roman heritage with a crisp white like Frascati, or savor the contrast a bright, berry red such as Sangiovese or Chianti can bring to a intensely peppery preparation.
Casarecce, Italian for “home made,” is the perfect pasta for chunky sauces like short rib ragu—and robust Italian reds are the perfect wines. Any Sangiovese will do nicely, or try a medium-bodied Barbera or Chianti Classico. For braising the ribs, go for a dry red, like an Italian Cabernet Sauvignon.
Roasting brings out the smoky, earthy flavors of veggies like eggplant and zucchini. They’re best complemented with lemon-bright or neutral-scented whites (like Frascati Superiore) or—if you’re serving with a tomato-based sauce—with a fruity reds like Nero d’Avola or Brunello di Montalcino.
Match the intensity of flavor in sun-dried tomatoes with an equally intense wine, like Malvazia Bianca. If the sun-dried tomatoes are part of a vegetable mélange, go with a Chianti. Its own dried-fruit notes will complement rather than go head-to-head with the strong flavor.
Bucatini tossed pancetta and fresh cheese pair perfectly with a northern Italian classic like Friulano; the peppery and pear notes of the wine contrast beautifully with any dry-cured, aged ham. If you’re going with pancetta in a creamier sauce, the tannin in a red like Sangiovese will balance the richness.
Roasted chickpeas, like chickpeas that have been deep-fried, pair well with wines with crisp, slightly fruity flavors, like a rosé. Or bring out the chickpea’s smoky flavor with something dry and oaky, like a Sangiovese.
Fruity Italian reds like Chianti or Montepulciano bring out the herbaceous flavor of fresh green pesto. Or try a Sangiovese to complement the hint of licorice in basil; this earthy wine is delicious with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, so be sure to have that on hand for serving.