Wine Information & Reviews | Vino Critic

Wine is to pasta as meatballs are to spaghetti; classic combinations that never get old. There are few things as comforting as a big bowl of pasta and the perfect wine is sure to bring that experience to a new level. The old adage, “It goes with what it grows with,” certainly applies here so you can’t miss with an Italian wine, but don’t be afraid to venture outside the region. The key is pairing the wine with the sauce, and to that end, we have some recommendations for you.

Best Red Wine To Pair With Pasta

Reds pair well with almost any tomato-based sauces or dishes heavy in mushrooms or beans. Almost any red will work so it really comes down to personal preference and whether you want something light and fruity or bold and spicy.
  • Pinot Noir; always a popular choice; light on body, high on aromatics.
  • Merlot; Medium-bodied with moderately sweet flavor.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon; full bodied and full of tannins.
  • Zinfandel; sweet red with moderate tannins and high acidity.

Best White Wine To Pair With Pasta

Whether it’s a creamy alfredo, a vibrant pesto, a light olive oil-based sauce or a spicy arrabbiata, white wine should be your go-to. Look for a light to medium-bodied white with strong acidity to complement your pasta dish.
  • Riesling; It’s light, sweet, crisp and highly acidic. It’s also highly versatile.
  • Chardonnay; dry and buttery with moderate tannins and acidity.
  • Sauvignon Blanc; highly acidic, fruity, dry white with herb tones.
  • Albariño; Dry with high acidity and notes of lemon and grapefruit.

Pairing Wine With Different Pasta Sauces

Pairing Wine With Alfredo

This rich, creamy sauce needs a fruity dry white, such as Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. If you prefer reds, try a Barbera or Beaujolais.

Pairing Wine With Marinara

Reds will be your best bet with this classic sauce. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sangiovese all make for excellent pairings.

Pairing Wine With Vodka

Vodka sauce is essentially a tomato-based sauce with cream. A fruity red, like Grenache or Dolcetto will pair well. The high acidity of Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc also help cut through the richness of the cream in this sauce.

Pairing Wine With Pesto

Here you’re going to want a wine that will play well with the basil, the primary ingredient in pesto. The grassy Sauvignon Blanc or herbaceous Grüner Veltliner will complement a pesto dish nicely.

Pairing Wine With Carbonara

A bold, complex carbonara dish is going to call for a bold wine with moderate acidity. Gewürztraminer, Rosé, Carignan, or Montepulciano will all pair well without competing for attention with this sauce.

Pairing Wine With Arrabbiata

Arrabbiata is a spicy, tomato-based sauce. Crisp whites such as Pinot Grigio and Albariño match well. If you’re going with red, a fruity Lambrusco or Bobal will do the trick.

Pairing Wine With Puttanesca

This bold, complex sauce needs a wine that can hold its own. A medium-intensity wine like Barbera or Sangiovese will balance and elevate your meal.

Pairing Wine With Aglio e Olio

Pasta (usually spaghetti) with garlic and oil. A fruity white, like Sauvignon Blanc or rustic red such as a Primitivo or Zinfandel pair nicely with this staple.

Pairing Wine With Cacio E Pepe

Cacio E Pepe translates to cheese and pepper. This simple yet comforting dish doesn’t need a bold wine. A Chianti, Riesling or Pinot Noir will all complement any dish with this tasty sauce.

Pairing Wine With Sun Dried Tomato & Capers Pasta Sauce

We recently had a fan ask us our thoughts on what to pair with their pasta sauce that had sun dried tomatoes and capers. If the base is olive oil with sun dried tomatoes and caper simply being added to it, then we suggest a Sancerre. If the sauce was cooked down into an actual red sauce with a base of sun dried tomatoes, then we suggest an Aglianico or any other highly acidic wine like a sauvignon blanc or southern french viognier.

Pairing Wine With Italian Food
Pairing Wine With Bolognese
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If we’re talking about comfort food, our minds tend to go straight to the carbs. And what’s better than a rich and flavorful spaghetti bolognese? Look for something with bold tannins and high acidity to enhance the inherent acidity of … Read More

Pairing Wine With Mac & Cheese
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Author Seema Pal Published 2-7-2023 Mac & Cheese is the ultimate comfort food that is enjoyed all over the world. It can range from the simple dish consisting of noodles and cheese sauce to an elevated version with vegetables, meat … Read More

Pairing Wine With Alfredo
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Alfredo is one of the most popular sauces in the world, typically with pasta noodles. It is a favourite among all age groups and can be enjoyed vegetarian and with protein such as chicken.  This creamy, cheesy, and garlicky sauce … Read More

Pairing Wine with Pesto
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Pesto is an appetizing and sophisticated item that can be used as both a sauce and as a condiment. It is widely enjoyed as a topping for cheeses on a charcuterie board to pasta sauces to bruschetta toppings! It is … Read More

Pairing Wine With Stir Fry
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Stir fry is a popular dish due to its versatility of a wide variety of vegetables, sauces, and protein that can be used. It is so quick and easy to make that it has become a popular weeknight dish for … Read More

Pairing Wine With Puttanesca
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Puttanesca is a pasta dish invented in Napoli in the 20th century. It is often made with ingredients that are found on hand, but it almost always has tomatoes, oil, olives, garlic and anchovies. A very popular dish in Italy … Read More

Pairing Wine With Cacio e Pepe
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Cacio e Pepe is a staple of Italian cuisine said to have been invented in the Roman empire. This pasta dish is as simple as it can be with the main ingredients being pasta, cheese and black pepper. The cheese … Read More

Pairing Wine With Vodka Sauce
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Vodka Sauce has loads of different recipes but the key components are tomatoes, cream and vodka. Tomatoes tend to cook slowly and mix with the vodka in the sauce, which gives a silky sauce rich in flavor.  Tomatoes can be … Read More

Pairing Wine With Marinara
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Marinara sauce is a traditional Italian sauce that consists mainly of tomatoes, lots of Italian herbs, garlic and onions. The sauce got its name from the fact that it was a favorite food of Italian sailors.  Tomatoes can be difficult … Read More

Pairing Wine With Lasagna
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Author Seema Pal 10-12-2022 Lasagna is one of Italy’s most famous pasta dishes, and one that has become a favourite across the world! When one thinks of lasagna, we think of warmth, comfort and of course delicious layers of cheese. … Read More

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