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 to pair with wine as they are quite acidic but there are always options available. Most of the time, the best pairing would be red wine with a solid body, firm tannins and a higher acidity, however there are certain white wine options which can work well with dishes that have Marinara in them. 

Pairing Wine With Marinara

Wine Characteristics To Pair With Marinara sauce 

Characteristic Detail
Sweetness Dry
Acidity Medium to High
Tannins Medium
Body Medium Bodied White,Medium bodied Reds
Tasting Notes White Wine Notes – Citrus, green fruit
Red Wine Notes – Red fruit, Black fruit, tomato

Sweetness – Both red and white wines with low sugar levels will pair well with Marinara sauce. 

Acidity – Medium to high levels of acidity are necessary to balance the acidity of tomatoes that are the key ingredient of Marinara sauce. 

Tannins – Medium level of tannins will do the trick with any dish with Marinara. 

Body – Medium bodied white wines with higher acidity levels are generally a good idea.
Same goes for red wines, as we do not want to overpower the sauce. 

Tasting Notes – A core of citrus and green fruit aromas, complemented with a hint of herbal aromas. Red fruit and black fruit in red wines will do the trick, especially if they are backed with a bit of tomato aromas. 

Best Red Wine To Drink With Marinara Sauce

Red wine generally pairs better with Marinara sauce, due to its acidity and texture. The wines should be at least matching in the acidity of tomatoes and they should have a good level of firm tannins. It is always a good trick to look at the sauces of the dish when considering pairings and with a traditional red sauce, it is a safe bet to pair red wines. 

Chianti Classico from Italy

More than a classic pairing, this is a wine that is sometimes added to the sauce itself. A Sangiovese based blend from the region of Tuscany, it has medium to high acidity with a red fruit nose, lots of earthiness and herbal aromas, but also it has a characteristic tomato aroma to it. 

Merlot from Chile 

These Merlots are usually more fruit forward and expressive which makes a good pairing for Marinara sauce and guess what, they have a good acidity as well. The tannins are a bit more velvety and smooth which complements the dish quite well. 

Malbec from Argentina 

A classic Malbec, this grape found its new home in Argentina where it produces astonishing wines with lots of fruit, acidity and tannins. Apart from the fruit aromas it has lots of spices coming from oak aging and a significant amount of chocolate aromas. 

Best White Wine To Drink With Marinara sauce

It is a bit of a challenge to find a good white wine to pair with a red sauce that is expressive as Marinara sauce is but there are a couple of good ideas most definitely.
We would recommend staying with a medium bodied white wine with a crisp and sharp acidity, lots of flavors that are tightly packed and a texture that will stand up to this rich sauce. 

Sauvignon Blanc from France

A sharp, acidic Sauvignon Blanc that comes from the Loire Valley will pair nicely with Marinara sauce. They have a medium body, high acidity and lots of flavors and aromas that range from herbaceous, green bell pepper and tomato leaf, to citrus and green fruit aromas.
They will be able to handle the intensity of the sauce quite well. 

Pinot Grigio from Italy

We would recommend having a Pinot Grigio from the region of Alto-Adige. These wines are grown on higher altitude and they have a soaring acidity, with lots of green fruit and citrus fruit aromas. Apart from that they have a nice spicy, herbal aroma to them which will go well with the flavors of the sauce. 

Weissburgunder from Germany

Weissburgunder or Pinot Blanc is a grape variety that sometimes tends to have neutral flavors and aromas but they are a true gem. Very versatile with good acidity and a firm body, they can develop an expressive nose and flavor. Sometimes with hints of oak which will make the wine a bit rounder, it will be a good pairing for Marinara. 

Best Wine To Drink With Marinara Sauce

We will shortlist a couple of suggestions for you and we hope that you will enjoy these pairings, as we believe they will make your dining experience exquisite and sophisticated.
These wines are a good pairing as they have a matching acidity, good texture and a firm body with tightly packed flavors. 

  • Chianti Classico from Italy
  • Malbec from Argentina 
  • Merlot from Chile 
  • Pinot Noir from France 
  • Sauvignon Blanc from France

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