The Best Wines to Pair with Italian Dishes
The pairing of a delicious meal with a complimentary glass of wine brings an understated harmony to the dining experience. If you’re looking to increase your enjoyment of food and learn a bit more about wine pairings, Italian cuisine is the place to begin. Here are a few wines that balance perfectly with some of the best Italian dishes.
A bold red wine with a sharp bite, Zinfandel is a wine that can stand up to even the heartiest of Italian meals. Meat-based dishes are an excellent choice to pair with a tasty Zinfandel since the tanginess of the wine perfectly balances the intense umami of meatballs or pork. If you’d rather have a simple pasta dish, you’re in luck: a Zinfandel will be able to fit the tone of a simple, elegant tomato sauce bursting with wholesome spices and a bit of acid from the tomatoes. All in all, this is the ultimate Italian wine pairing that will emulate the decadence of a rich, late-night meal in a Rome eatery.
A neutral wine for any taste bud, a gentle chardonnay is the ultimate in approachable white wines. Its flavors are generally mild and on the sweeter side, which allows it to complement and not compete with the meal at hand. A Chardonnay will pair well with creamy sauces like Alfredo or Carbonara and with seafood and chicken dishes. And because of the mild flavors of the wine, it’s the right choice for even a non-wine drinker to be able to enjoy the flavor pairings of Italian food and wine.
Another red wine, Chianti is on the dry side of the wine scale. As such, it harmonizes well with lighter dishes that still have flavors of their own. A cheese plate works with the subtleties of the wine without overpowering them. Likewise, a light salad of fresh vegetables will not be overcome by this subtle red wine. When in doubt, feel free to ask your server at an authentic Italian restaurant for the best dishes to pair with this restrained red wine.
Perhaps one of the most well-known white wines, Pinot Grigio is a classic wine that pairs well with a variety of cuisines and dishes. Its flavor profile is full set simplistic, without too many levels of aromas or flavors. The result is a personality-rich wine that’s easy to get along with. Pair it with equally simple and bold Italian flavors: pesto, creamy tomato, or fried fish dishes.
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