Do you love dining out on Italian favorites like pasta, fish, and risotto? Would you like to know how something about pairing wines with Italian food?

Believe it or not, wine pairing is not as complicated as you think. All you need are a few tips, and you could be enjoying your meal and impressing your friends with your delightful dining knowledge.

Here’s what you need to know about pairing your favorite bottles and glasses with Italian cuisine.

White Wines

Many occasional wine drinkers prefer whites because of their lighter texture. One of the most popular white options today is a Reisling, which is sweet and fairly dry. 

Light and crisp Rieslings are best when paired with lighter proteins like chicken or salmon dishes. They will also work with a cream or oil-based sauce, such as a primavera. They may not, however, pair well with the acidity of something tomato-based. 

Rieslings also work great with fruit and cheese. If you’re looking for something tasty to accompany your appetizer or a light dessert, ask your favorite server for a glass.

Chardonnay is another classic white wine option. It tends to be dry and full-bodied, with light tropical fruit flavors. 

Chardonnay will pair well with anything with buttery or nutty flavors. It works great with seafood, and especially flaky fishy like halibut. However, it’s also a delicious beverage to enjoy along with lobster, crab, and shrimp dishes.

Chardonnay will pair well with creamy pasta dishes like risotto or Alfredo sauces. However, you’ll want to avoid it when you’re eating spicy food as it could ruin the entire texture.

Sauvignon Blanc is best known for its fruit flavors that include white peach, grapefruit, and pear. It’s also a little zesty and dry. Popular Italian Sauvignon Blanc bottles include Venica and Torre Rosazza. 

Sauvignon Blanc’s flavors pair well with all kinds of green salads and snacks that include breadsticks, crab cakes, and prosciutto. It’s also a great way to bring out the sparks in veggie sauces.


A nice rose is pink with floral and fruit notes. It’s quite popular during the warmer months and is often made frozen for wine slushy fans.

A glass of good rose pairs well with creamier, tangier dishes. Fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, and bruschetta appetizers are great accompaniments. You can also enjoy it with seafood such as lobster, tuna, or salmon.

Red Wines

The benefits of drinking moderate amounts of red wine have been highly touted over recent years. Besides allowing you to relax and enjoy your meal, it contains powerful antioxidants that may help reduce your chances of heart disease and cancer. It can also help to lower your chances of becoming depressed or developing diabetes.

Popular at Italian restaurants, chianti is a bit earthy and rustic. You may also detect flavor notes such as cherry, dried herbs, and strawberries. Look for options like Frescobaldi or Il Pilazzo.

Chianti pairs fabulously well with the tomato present in many important Italian dishes. If you’re planning on enjoying a Margherita pizza or tomato or meat-based sauce on your pasta, a nice glass of Chanti can really complete your meal. It can also give you the flavor of appetizers like Pecorino cheese.

Cabernet sauvignon is another option commonly found at local Italian cafes. They are full-bodied and give you lots of dark fruit flavors. You may even notice notes of black and bell pepper.

If you’re going to be eating all-red meat, such as a steak, you can’t go wrong with cabernet sauvignon. It also works great with pepper-crusted dishes like tuna. Vegan dishes with portabello mushrooms or certain cheeses compliment cabernets as well.

Merlot is a wine that has a deep, rich flavor and notes of cherry or chocolate. It pairs well with a number of dishes, including pork, veal, and hamburgers. Merlots can also pair with your fruit for dessert.

Some Italian restaurants may also serve Barolo wines. These are a bit more earthy with hints of coffee and herbs. You can find options such as Bruno Grimaldi at some Italian restaurants.

Barolo works great with strong cheeses such as gorgonzola. It will also bring out the flavor of veal, beefsteak, and lamb.

Sparkling Wines

Sparkling wines are popular for date nights, happy hours, and girls’ nights out. They add a certain sweetness and festivity to any occasion.

Prosecco is on the menu at many Italian restaurants and has a vibrant, fresh, crisp flavor. You may also notice fruity notes that include apple, peach, and pear. 

Prosecco pairs well with apps such as prosciutto or Caprese salad. It will also work well with dishes like risotto or pasta stuffed with mushrooms. Popular Italian Proseccos include the dry Mille and sweet Cantico.

Champagne is bubbly with notes of citrus, peach, or cherry. While we often think of it for toasting, champagne can also help you to enjoy some bites.

Champagne is known for being a bit sweeter and more sugary, so it will work with desserts such as mousse or your favorite piece of cake. However, you can also enjoy it with apps such as clams or creamy cheeses like brie or mascarpone. Sweetbread and crepes are also deliciously complemented by it.

Because of their light texture, shrimp, salmon, and caviar will also pair well with your favorite bottle of bubbly. Ask your waiter for more effervescent suggestions.

Wine and Italian Dishes

Italian dishes are magically paired with all types of wine. It’s all a matter of getting the textures and flavors right. With a little research, you could be an expert in dining out and sipping well in no time.

Don’t stop enjoying your wine and dinner now. For excellent Italian cuisine and an extensive wine list, eat with us today.