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Of Pinot and Penne: 5 Must-Try Wine And Pasta Pairings

Updated: Sep 16, 2022

You’ve had it with cheese, you’ve had it with steaks, but have you tried your wine with pasta? Amongst the many categories of widely popular food, pasta, like bread, pairs exceptionally well with wine. However, like any other food-and-wine match, make sure that the flavor of your pasta complements the wine in hand, and vice versa.

Not sure how that goes? No worries. We’ve got five pasta and wine pairings, so that the next time you host a dinner party, or go out to eat, you can make a selection like a pro!

Cheese Pasta

Red Wines: Light-bodied

White Wines: Full-bodied

Cheddar, mozzarella, or parmesan blended in a rich, buttery white sauce is a preferred pasta sauce, the Alfredo being the choice of many pasta-lovers. Wine works well with cheese every time. A white wine, such as an oak-aged Chardonnay, consists of a rich creaminess which complements the creaminess of cheese-based pasta.

If you are in the mood for a red, then go for a light-bodied, flowery blend. Pinot Noir or Sangiovese make great partners with cheese-based pasta, especially one with a load of mushrooms and other vegetables.

Tomato Pasta

Red Wines: Medium-bodied

Tomato-based pasta is typically high in acid-content, the tang of the fruit often fused within pieces of chicken or beef. A tart red blend with medium body works well with the acidity of the tomato sauce. Though it sounds like your options are limited, there are a number of common candidates.

For example, Zinfandel (also known as Primitivo) consists of fruity hints and sharp spice-like edge, and pairs perfectly with the meats in tomato pasta. Other options include Sangiovese, Grenache, Rhône Blends and Nero d’Avola.

Herb Pasta

White Wines: Light-bodied

Pesto pasta, typically based of basil herb, is a favorite in herb pastas, usually paired with nuts for an added flavor and texture. The key to pairing a wine with herb-based pasta is realizing the greens in the pasta are the central focus. Wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc, which have an “herbaceous” touch in a light-body base, make for an amazingly savory blend to sip after every fork of herb-based pasta.

Other white wines you can open up with your pesto pasta include Friuli Sauvignon Blanc, Fiano d’Avellino, Catarratto and Grüner Veltliner.

Veggie Pasta

White Wines: Light-bodied

Delicious primavera pasta is usually consisted of spring onions, artichoke or broccoli, though seasonal vegetables are also added. Similar to herb pastas, focus on making the vegetables the centerpiece of your wine pairing.

The wine you choose should highlight the “springiness” of the veggies, as task worthy of a light-bodied white wine. If you choose to add tomatoes to the mix, simply choose the wines mentioned up above. However, if your pasta is exclusively “green”, Sauvignon Blanc, Grecanico or Vermentino are savory enough to complement the veggies.

Seafood Pasta

White Wine: Light-bodied and Medium-bodied

Shrimps are the foremost viable option for individuals who like seafood in the pasta. Other Italian varieties also include clams and anchovies. Pairing seafood with wine isn’t particularly hard; simply think of the weight in each.

Small shrimps are delicate, and would be best matched with an equally delicate “light-bodied” white wine, such as a light and tangy Pinot Grigio. For heavier seafood, a richer blend such as Grenache Blanc may be the best choice.

Of course, nothing comes close to experiencing pasta—or any other kind of food—with wine then experiencing such dining in the wine country.

Artisan Excursion offers unique wine tasting tours to Solvang, Buellton, Los Olivos and other parts of the gorgeous Santa Ynez Valley and its many exquisite wineries and vineyards.

Book a tour with us today at 805-734-7565 to experience the fine Californian wine, and maybe bring back a few blends home to try with that pasta you love!

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