Pairing Wine With Italian Food, a Guide

Italian cuisine is beloved around the world like none other. And yes, most of the dishes can be paired with wine without much thought to it. 

However, there are a few basic rules that we should follow. And there are pairs that work better together. That’s why we’re here.

In this article, we’ll talk about what wine goes with Italian food. We’ll go in-depth about the best pairings for specific types of sauces, pasta, and of course, we’ll tell you what wine pairs with pizza.

The right pairings will enhance the flavors and the overall experience of dining. Plenty of factors to consider when picking the correct pairs, and we’ll show you what they are. 

So, if you want to learn about Italian food and wine, keep reading. Or, if you wish to try the best wine with Italian food in Miami, come to Mi’talia Kitchen & Bar.

Learn the Ingredients First

Before going into wines that pair with pasta and pizza, let’s talk about the traditional Italian food ingredients you’ll run into at (almost) every meal.

Italians use specific herbs and spices in the kitchen, and knowing what they are is the first rule of Italian food and wine pairing.

Check out the list before learning more about wines from this part of the world.

Herbs and Spices

  • Oregano
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Capers


  • Olive oil
  • Red wine
  • White wine
  • Balsamic vinegar


  • Pasta
  • Rice

Other Common Ingredients

  • Tomatoes
  • Porcini mushrooms
  • Truffles
  • Italian cheeses (Mozzarella, Pecorino, Parmigiano

Italian Wines

The basic rule for pairing wine with food is to choose a dish that comes from the same part of the world as the bottle. So, pairing Italian food and wine from that area is a safe bet for a pleasant meal.

And there are plenty of pairs already well-known to the public. For example, truffles and Barbaresco are a famous couple. Ossobuco goes with Chianti Classico, which is another well-respected pair.

In the list below, we named the best Italian wines that pair with pasta and other dishes from this region. 

  • Amarone della Valpolicella
  • Barolo
  • Chianti Classico
  • Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
  • Brunello di Montalcino
  • Valpolicella
  • Montefalco Sagrantino
  • Gavi
  • Arneis (Roero Arneis)
  • Fiano di Avellino
  • Greco di Tufo
  • Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Riserva
  • Lambrusco
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Prosecco
  • Moscato d’Asti

Keep reading to learn what wine goes with Italian food and specific dishes that pair perfectly with some of these bottles.

Pairing the Best Wine With Italian Food

In the text below, we’ve tried to find the perfect pairs for some of the most popular authentic Italian dishes. We’ve considered the flavor profiles of the ingredients and explained which wines you should consume with your meal.

Check them out and let us know if you like our matchmaking.

Wines That Pair With Pasta and White Sauce

Fettucine alfredo is a white cream pasta dish beloved worldwide. It’s natural to want to pair it with a glass of Italian wine, and if you ask us, there’s a sure pick for that occasion – a buttery chardonnay.

You can go wrong with this pair, but the only way to be sure is to try it yourself. 

On the other hand, if you’re having a white clam sauce, like Spaghetti con le Vongole, try sipping on Pinot Grigio. Its brininess and minerality will match the dish way better. Something sparkling like Verdicchio or a classic Sauvignon Blanc will also go well with this type of dish.

Wines That Pair With Pasta and Red Sauce

Italy is famous for its red sauces. Tomato is a favorite in plenty of dishes from that region, and pairing it with wine is among the first things to learn if you wish to enjoy Mediterranean cuisine properly.

Oregano, basil, and garlic are often a part of the red sauce, so that the correct wine match would be a medium-bodied red. Some of our favorites of that type are:

  • Chianti
  • Grenache
  • Sangiovese
  • Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
  • Rhone blend

We can’t forget about Bolognese when talking about red sauce pasta dishes. If you want wine with your bowl, try something acidic, like a Barolo. 

What Wine Pairs With Pizza

Italian pizzas aren’t as heavy as what we’re used to in America. Primarily, they consume Neapolitan and Margherita pizza, which have few ingredients. 

They have mozzarella and fresh basil, though; their perfect pairs are Garnacha and dry rose.

Even if you don’t prefer those bottles, the answer to “What wine pairs with pizza in Italy” is always something light. 

If you have a white pie, you can go with a Chardonnay.

Pairing Wine With Lasagna

We can’t discuss the best wine with Italian food without mentioning lasagna. This complex dish is known for its intense flavor and multiple layers of ingredients.

Finding a wine that can cut through all the meat, cheese, and noodles isn’t a simple task. Still, the Italians have found a way.

Grab a glass of Barbera, Chianti, or Zinfandel and fully enjoy your plate of lasagna. These wines will complement the dish perfectly.

Wine and Ravioli Pairing

Ravioli is one of the harder Italian dishes to drink with wine. The tricky part is finding the right pair without knowing what the recipe is. The sauce can influence the flavor of the dish completely. So, before choosing the wine, pay attention to what you’ll be eating.

If you’re having Mushroom Ravioli, try an earthy Cabernet Sauvignon. A Pinot Noir will also be a decent pair to a dish of this type.

On the other hand, if you’re having Meat Ravioli, you can drink any type of red wine and be just fine. But, for the best flavor match, get a glass of Merlot.

Lobster Ravioli pairs perfectly with white wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or Riesling. 

Cheese Ravioli lets you choose between reds and whites. You can go with both a sauvignon blanc, chardonnay or a malbec. It’s your choice.

Carbonara and Wine Pairing

Carbonara isn’t a white or red pasta sauce but an Italian classic made with olive oil, eggs, and Parmigiano.

Both red and white wines go well with it, but there are a few bottles that will taste best. Our advice is to go with fruit-forward reds with some acidity. Barbera, pinot noir, and Montepulciano are obvious picks.

If you prefer white wine when eating carbonara, go with something that will complement the cheese. Chardonnay, pinot grigio, and Riesling are all good choices.

Wine and Italian Desserts

The first rule applies here as well. Pair Italian desserts with wines that come from the same region. So, for tiramisu, choose a glass of traditional Italian wine. Our pick is Vin Santo from Tuscany. 

Give it a chance and see what it’s like to enjoy Italian food fully.

Visit Mi’talia

If you wish to find the best Italian food and wine in the States, visit Mi’talia. Our chefs spent years in the Mediterranean learning the secrets of Italian cuisine and are happy to showcase their knowledge to everyone in the United States.

Give us a visit and see what it’s like to enjoy authentic Italian food in the heart of America.