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Which Wine Should You Drink With Your Italian Pasta?

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Is wine your drink of choice when dining out on Italian food? If so, it's important you choose the right variety of wine to go with your pasta. If you don't, you could find that your pasta sauce makes your wine taste bitter and unpleasant. You can always ask your waiter for recommendations, but if you'd rather impress your dinner crowd with your own knowledge, here are the wines you should pair with creamy, red, green, and seafood-based pasta sauces.

Drink Chardonnay with Creamy Sauces

Creamy pasta dishes like fettucine alfredo and carbonara are some of the most popular choices at Italian restaurants. They offer a flavour that is both mild in seasoning yet rich in buttery intensity, often enhanced by garlic, Parmesan cheese, and herbs like parsley. If creamy sauces take your fancy, you can't go wrong pairing your pasta with Chardonnay. Chardonnay has a wonderfully sweet and fruity flavour that's easily overpowered by pungent foods, so pairing it with something mild and buttery is the perfect complement to bring those notes to the surface.

Drink Chianti with Red Sauces

Chianti is a very popular wine in Italy, and for good reason. This Tuscan red is the perfect complement to numerous Italian pasta dishes because it goes perfectly with typical red sauces. Chianti has a flavour that is tart, herby, and somewhat spicy all rolled into one—just like pasta dishes such as arrabbiata penne. As such, it's no surprise that they go perfectly together. Its dry, coarse tannin also pairs amazingly with dishes rich in olive oil. Other pasta sauces that go great with chianti include marinara, amatriciana, Pomodoro, and Bolognese.

Drink Sauvignon Blanc with Green Sauces

Perhaps you prefer the intensely earthy flavour of green pesto with your pasta. Made with heaps of basil, garlic, pine nuts, and cheese, pesto is often part of chicken pasta dishes, as the mild flavour of chicken works perfectly with it. When choosing a wine for green sauces, look towards dry whites. Sauvignon Blanc is a great option here since it has its own grassy element that works perfectly with basil. A full-bodied Sauvignon Blanc will balance out the rich taste of the olive oil and pine nuts with the fresh flavour of the basil and garlic, bringing everything together.

Drink Rosé with Seafood Sauces

Finally, there are seafood sauces. Seafood sauces are usually red or white at their base, but the unique oceanic flavours they bring call for a specific wine pairing. If you love rosé, now is the ideal time to drink it. The fruity notes in this wine bring out the opulence of the lobster, oyster, calamari, or whatever seafood you're enjoying with your pasta. Another good choice is Pinot Gris, a crisp white with similar fruit elements.

For more information on Italian food options, contact a restaurant.