With a traditional character, Italian food is one of the most popular in the world, simple, original and at the same time very varied at a regional level, it is far from the sophistication of other cuisines, through its pasta dishes, pizzas or risottos, with an inevitable air familiar. It is not a rule, it is often common to serve during the meal the same wine that was used for cooking. In other words, if we use a white wine, it will be this same wine that goes to the table. When it comes to harmonizing, some tips can help you to be more precise and find out what goes with the wine or dish chosen. Check out some of them!

Italian Culinary and Tasting

Define What the Recipe Will Be

The choice of recipe directly influences the drink that will be consumed. In addition to the ingredients used, paying attention to the way of preparation and the sauces and side dishes that will be served is very important, as they alter the taste, aroma and texture of the food.

An example of this are steaks that can be more succulent when roasted or dry when fried.

Make Combinations Based on Similarity

If you’re just starting out in the world of harmonizing, going through the basics is the easiest. Make food and drink combinations based on similarity. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon wines are fuller-bodied and, therefore, harmonize with more greasy dishes, such as grilled meat and lasagna Bolognese sauce.

A light wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, goes very well with chicken and seafood.

Test the Contrast Between Food and Drink

Following the path of resemblance is simpler, but it is not the only possibility. Harmonizing based on contrast can create delicious combinations on the palate. For example: combine savory dishes with sweet drinks such as Port Wine. A greasy red meat in turn, can be consumed with an acidic wine such as Pinot Noir.

Don’t Forget to Analyze the Acidity

White, rosé and sparkling wines are more acidic than red and, precisely because of that, they have a wide possibility of harmonisation. In short, the “rule” of acidity is that the wine chosen is always more acidic than the food.

Remember the Presence of Tannins

Present in large quantities in red wines, tannins are an astringent substance, that is, they cause a dry or “tied up” mouthfeel. Precisely for this reason, they don’t go well with less heavy foods, as they cut their flavor. When choosing a light or full-bodied red wine give preference to fatty foods, as the fat protects the taste buds from the action of tannins.

Bet on So-Called Gastronomic Wines

Man serving wine to demonstrate how to pair wine with dishes.
The white variation is one of the examples of gastronomic wines.

When in doubt about which wine to pair, remember the gastronomic wines named like this for their ease of combination with other foods they are more acidic, which helps in the production of saliva, softens salt, cuts fat and cleans the taste buds.

Examples are sparkling wines, whites and even Pinot Noir, a lighter and less full-bodied red. That way, the challenge of making the perfect match is less complicated.

italian food

Wine Pairing With Italian Dishes

Now that it’s easier to understand what to consider when creating good pairings, it’s time to explore Italian cuisine and discover which wines match each recipe.

Lasagna Bolognese

The lasagna Bolognese combines pasta and red meat, creating a heavy dish and, therefore, asks for wines as full-bodied as there are. To harmonize, bet on Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec and Tannat.


Carbonara pasta is one of the most classic Italian recipes of all time. The combination of egg and bacon fat form a creamy mass, the tip is to avoid red wines.

The most suitable wines for Carbonara pasta are white, especially Chardonnay.

Gnocchi with White Sauce

Like carbonara, gnocchi in white sauce is very greasy and creamy. Therefore, the best option is to bet on white wines or rather light reds, such as Pinot Noir.

Pasta With Shrimp

Pasta with shrimp served to pair wines with dishes.
Shrimp noodles go well with rosé wines and some white varieties.

Pasta with seafood is a classic of Italian and Portuguese cuisine. These foods, like fish are fresh and need careful seasoning to balance flavors well.

The wines that go with pasta with seafood are rosé, with a focus on Merlot and Malbec.

Wine Pairing With Italian Desserts

Although less explored, the harmonization of wines and sweets is possible. After all, whoever loves the drink wants to enjoy it at any time! Find out which Italian desserts go with your favorite wines.

Ice Creams

As much as they are greasy thanks to milk, ice cream or gelattos as they are called in Italy are quite sugary. Therefore, the tip is to bet on Port Wine, as it also has this characteristic.

Affogato and Tiramisu

Both recipes are made with coffee which gives them a certain bitterness balanced with sugar. For this harmonization, the tip is a sparkling Muscat type, since it is sweet, floral and reasonably full-bodied.