How to Choose Magical Pasta Wine Pairings

Bowls Of Seafood Pasta Paired With Sparkling Wine Being Poured

Date night dinner calls for a magical pasta wine pairing. How do you pick? Grab your wand, say the words “best wine to pair with pasta” and voila! Tips for all kinds of mood-making pairings have appeared below.

Red sauce, white sauce, pesto, broths — let’s find a magical wine pairing for your pasta.

Red Sauce Pasta Wine Pairing

The Quick 101:

The magic begins by pairing your wine color with your food color. From there, you’ll look at food acidity. Tomatoey red sauce has higher acidity, which translates to a wine that is also acidic. A more acidic wine is light and tart, it makes your mouth water, ruling out super sweet wines like Moscato. Look for something with low tannins, avoiding oaky wines like Cabernet and Bordeaux.

Wines to Try With Red Sauce:

  • Merlot
  • Pinot Noir
  • Chianti
  • Zinfandel
  • Malbec
  • Dry Rosé
Dry Rose Wine Paired With Linguine Cioppino Pasta Dish

Try Dry Rose with Linguine Cioppino

Chianti Wine Paired With Spaghetti And Meatball Pasta

Try a Chianti with Spaghetti and Meatballs

Merlot Wine Paired With Baked Ziti Pasta

Try Merlot with Vegetarian Baked Ziti

White Sauce Pasta Wine Pairing

The Quick 101:

Start with color matching again, then it’s time to have a little fun with your pasta-wine pairing. Match the mouthfeel of thick, creamy white sauces with full-bodied white wines. For lighter, whipped white sauces, use crisper, drier  white wines. Or, do the opposite! Pair a crisper wine with a heavier sauce if you are looking for a delicate and refreshing balance to the richness of your meal. It’s your spell, after all.

Wines to Try With White Sauce:

  • Riesling
  • Chardonnay Blends
  • Pinot Bianco
  • Arneis
  • Chilled Gavi
  • Sparkling Rose
  • Sauvignon Blanc
Chardonnay Wine Paired With Fettuccine Alfredo Pasta

Try Chardonnay Blend with
Classic Fettuccine Alfredo

Pinot Bianco Wine Paired With Whipped Ricotta Gemelli Alfredo Pasta

Try Pinot Bianco with Whipped Ricotta
Gemelli Alfredo

Sauvignon Blanc Wine Paired With Spaghetti Carbonara Pasta With Peas

Try Sauvignon Blanc with Spaghetti Carbonara With Peas

Other Pasta and Wine Pairings

The Quick 101:

Pesto, broth, savory soy sauce. There’s a wine for it! Move beyond color matching to enhance the main flavor of your pasta dish through congruent or contrasting wines. Which is just a fancy way of saying either pair similar flavors (sweet with sweet) or opposite flavors (spicy dish with fruity wine).

Wines to Try With Pesto:

  • Dry Chardonnay
  • Sicilian Whites
  • Pinot Noir
  • Primitivo

Wines to Try With Asian-Inspired Dishes:

  • Dry Riesling 
  • Dry Gavi
  • Sauvignon Blanc

Wines to Try With Brothy Soup:

  • Barbera
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Chardonnay
Sauvignon Blanc Wine Paired With Angel Hair Lo Mein Pasta

Try Sauvignon Blanc with
Angel Hair Lo Mein

Barbera Wine Paired With Italian Wedding Soup Dish

Try Barbera with
Italian Wedding Soup

Congrats, you’re a pasta-wine pairing wizard! Embark upon the wine aisle with confidence. And be sure to share your pairing pics with us — submit your pics here.