The Italian food wine pairing is always hotly debated at the dining table because everyone’s tastes vary. However, Italian food and wine go together as one of the best pairings in culinary history. While there are so many complex flavors in the food and wine, how can anyone decide on the perfect pair?
In some restaurants there is a trained sommelier or wine steward. This master of all things wine provides expert suggestions on vintage and region to pair with a chosen dish. It is highly recommended to take their advice given their knowledge of both the menu and the wine on hand. Often times the sommelier has chosen the wines to serve in the dining room. In the absence of a sommelier, or in the interest of quick education, we have prepared a few thoughts.
When choosing pasta dishes with heavy cream sauces, a lighter wine is typically the choice. Wine stored in oak barrels give off a smokey flavor that balances out the richness of the cream cause. We recommend a nice Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. The heavy cream sauce and the lighter flavor of the wine combine for a luxurious compliment. This delicate balance is often the difference between a good meal and a great one. Ask for a sample of the wine prior to making the final decision.
Tomato Based Sauce
Tomato sauces are acidic and full of spices giving off their own flavors. To balance out the make-up of the sauce, we recommend a Pinot Noir or Merlot. The wine combines with the other flavors to accentuate the high notes. This pairing brings it all together into harmonious bite leaving you coming back for more.
While there are many Italian food wine pairing options, ask a server for their favorites. With a good knowledge of the menu, you’ll be sure to get the right complement.