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How To Pair Italian Wine With Your Meal San Carlo How To Pair Italian Wine With Your Meal
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Delicious food and delectable wines are ingrained into Italian culture, with Italy being the biggest producer of wine globally. Grapes are grown in nearly every part of Italy, so it’s understandable that Italian wine pairs perfectly with Italian food. Read our blog post below to find out which wine pairs with our dishes.



When choosing a wine to go with your dish, it’s important to have a basic understanding of flavour profiles and to match them accordingly. Bitterness, sweetness, acidity, salt and fat all balance together in order to make the perfect combination, and complimenting flavours should always be at the forefront of our mind when matching wines and dishes. 


Sparkling white wines, such as Proseccos and Champagnes, are perfect served as an aperitif before a meal. This is because it keeps things light and refreshing, and gives you the opportunity to take things slow until your meal arrives.  They also pair well with salty starters, such as arancini as the sweetness contrasts the saltiness. 

White wine with a pasta dish.


When ordering wine to go with pasta dishes, you should consider what kind of sauce your pasta dish will have and match your wine accordingly. 

White Sauce 

Pasta with white sauces, such as a Carbonara, will require a wine that both matches and cuts through the creaminess of the egg and cheese sauce. In order to do this, you want a dry wine that has citrus notes – which makes a Pinot Grigio the perfect choice. 


Meat Sauce

Italian meat sauces, such as bologneses and ragus, tend to be rich and comforting. They contain lots of deep flavours and so need to be paired with a wine that can complement this. The acidity within a red wine , such as a classic Chianti, will make you feel refreshed after such a fulfilling dish. If you prefer white wines, a Verdicchio will also work well due to the full-bodied flavour. 


Red Sauce

Italian tomato sauces can vary in depth on flavour, depending on the dish they’re being made for. Lighter versions of the sauce match well with crisp Italian whites, like a Vermentino, a Verdicchio or a Pinot Grigio. Once you start to add more flavours to the sauce, then softer red wines tend to match better such as a Barbera D’Asti. 

White wine with seafood risotto.


Pairing wines with risotto dishes is similar to pairing them with pasta dishes, as there is no one wine that goes with everything. Instead, you have to match the notes in the wine to the flavours within the dish itself. 

Risotto dishes made with seafood or vegetables pairs perfectly with a full-bodied white wine such as a Gavi. However, meat or mushroom risottos can have a fuller flavour and therefore need a fuller wine, hence why red wines work better. A Barbera is light enough in taste to not overpower the dish, yet has enough acidity to bring out the richness of the meat. 

Red wine with a pizza.


Pizza dishes just call out for an Italian red wine to cut through the tomatoey base and the mozzarella cheese. A light wine such as a Valpolicella or even a well-balanced Chianti will work well with pizza and bring out the flavours that could so easily be missed. 

Red wine with a steak.


Rich, red meat dishes such as a steak need a bold wine to go with them. Consider something like a Cabernet, which is full of tannin. This assertive flavour will stand up to the richness of the meat, without overpowering it completely. 

However, leaner meats will call for a softer wine like a Valpolicella, which tends to have fruiter notes. 


If you’re unsure what wine to pair with your meal, our expert waiters can offer you suggestions. Why not check out San Carlo’s menu and then book a table and eat delicious Italian food cooked by experienced Italian chefs.

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