Fun fact – the wrong choice of wine with your incredible Italian dinner will actually hinder the experience. That’s true of most cuisines, but it’s particularly heartbreaking when you’re enjoying handmade pasta and tender meatballs, or creamy fettuccine Alfredo! Next time you whip up an Italian feast, here’s how to master the perfect pairing.
A Few Tips
Wine and food pairings are largely subjective, but keep in mind a few guidelines.
- Seafood & Cream-Based Sauces: Pair the fruits of the sea with white wines. It’s an easy way to elevate the delicate brine of fish and shellfish dishes. More robust seafood options, like swordfish, pair well with richer, more substantial white wines. And if your seafood is on the spicy side, a sweet white will offer a beautiful balance. If your Italian meal includes a rich, cream-based sauce, opt for a dry wine that’s high in alcohol content. And to cut through the cream, look for something slightly acidic as well.
- Red Meats, Roasts & Aged Cheeses: Strong flavors need a full-bodied accompaniment. There’s a lot of richness in these foods, so something like a Cabernet Sauvignon or Barbaresco will pair nicely.
- Chicken, Veal & Pasta with Tomato & Meat Sauces: These choices can have complex flavors, so look for light or medium-bodied red wines (think merlot or chianti) that won’t clash or overwhelm. Plus, you’ll have the benefit of a palate cleanse with every sip.
A good rule of thumb for food and wine pairings is to let geography guide you. That means enjoying regional wines with provincial recipes. And no matter what you’re enjoying, the goal is always to strike the right balance.
We Make it Easy
At La Famiglia in Reno, we offer an extensive wine list and we can make recommendations to ensure your wine will pair perfectly with your meal. Just ask!