Thursday, January 24, 2008

Italian food and wine pairing

Dinner at an Italian Restaurant – What food to choose with your bottle of wine

Italian food and wine pairing

New Yorkers in my neck of the woods LOVE going to Italian restaurants! All that olive oil, good food and Italian hospitality combine to ensure a great time and a full stomach will be had by all. Many Italian restaurants offer wine by the glass, and the waitstaff often has great advice on pairing menu items with matching wines.
But what if your table decides to order by the bottle? Here are some suggestions for possible food pairings with two Italian reds and a few widespread wine favorites.

First, the Italian reds:

Chianti is an Italian staple, most any tomato-based dish sings with a glass of Chianti by its side. For a change of pace, consider choosing your favorite pasta with a mushroom or cheese sauce.

Barolo, Barbaresco and other Nebbiolo-based wines are the strong men of the Italian wine list; pair your (decanted) glassful with tube-shaped pasta and a hearty meat sauce.

Now, for a few more widely-known wines:

If Chardonnay is on the table, consider choosing a cheesy ravioli dish.

With Riesling lovers, a simple dish of Gnocchi could be a made to order pairing.

Pinot Noir is a wine with amazing flavors; Pinot lovers can ensure that the wine is the star of the show by pairing a glass with a simple preparation of Pasta with olive oil.

If your dinner party prefers Merlot, you might order a meaty or mushroom ravioli dish.

If the table has chosen a tannic wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, you might opt for a heavy meat sauce for your favorite pasta.

If your dining partners choose Zinfandel, you could request pasta with a spicy sauce.

What Italian wine and food pairings do you enjoy? How do you choose a wine in a restaurant?

How to Match Wine and Fish

Spaghetti Bolognese food and wine pairing


ItalianRestaurants said...

I love italian cuisine too. I usually dine at Italian restaurants and i like all of their dishes!

John said...

Hi Kathleen:

I just wanted to let you know that I absolutely love your blog. It partially inspired me to start my own at

Stop on by!


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