Food is an important part of every country’s culture; it is something that people from different walks of life can come together and appreciate.
For instance, people of Italy have always taken great pride in the kind of popularity that their cuisine enjoys worldwide. For them, food has always been a form of art – an expression of their passion and rich cultural heritage.
Like most other countries, Italy also has a wide variety of dishes to offer; however, there are certain foundational flavors which can be found in most preparations.
In order to pair wine with your Italian food, it’s important to take into account the major recurring flavors that form the foundation of these dishes.
So, if you have an undying love for wine and italian food, read on to find out the wines which have been known to complement the unique flavors of Italian food:
1) Italian Primitivo
It’s only appropriate to start this list with a wine that is traditionally grown in Italy itself because Italians love their food as much as they love their wines.
This red wine is known for its strong flavors and higher levels of alcohol, which is able to complement the acidity brought about by thick, tomato-based sauces.
Tomatoes – freshly cut or in the form of a sauce – are a part of most Italian dishes; therefore, having a wine that brings out its creamy flavors can never go wrong.
Since most widely known Italian preparations like lasagna, pasta, and the very popular Margherita pizza are tomato-based; Italian Primitivo is quite a popular match for Italian food.
2) Pinot Noir
One of the most popular and versatile wines in the world – Pinot Noir is known for its fruity flavors and lighter style.
It goes well with lighter flavors such as that of white sauce pasta or cheese pasta since the earthiness of the wine can effortlessly highlight the creaminess of the cheese.
Regardless of the other ingredients used in the dish, you can always fall back on this wine when it comes to cheese-based preparations. Pinot Noir versatility allows it to be paired with a richer, tomato-based sauce and pesto sauce as well.
3) Cabernet Sauvignon
The full-bodied red wine is known for its high acidity, which makes it a perfect pairing option for stronger flavors like that of marinara sauce or the ones used in lasagna.
The high level of tannin makes the wine perfect for rich and creamy dishes as it brings out each and every note in the complex mix of flavors.
Hearty and rich – Cabernet Sauvignon is often believed to be too strong and overwhelming in itself. Therefore, this is a wine which is best enjoyed with food, rather than on its own.
4) Italian Chianti
Italian Chianti is another bold but versatile red wine that goes well with most sauces. Along with cheese-based and tomato-based sauces, Italian Chianti is also a perfect match for olive oil-based sauces.
Olive oil is one of the most popular ingredients used in Italian dishes. From salads to pasta – Italians like to sprinkle a hint of olive oil in most of their preparations, which makes Italian Chianti a perfect fit for a number of Italian dishes.
The first white wine on this list – Chardonnay is popular for its light and fruity flavors. However, depending on where it’s grown, the exact taste may vary from region to region.
While its fruity flavors complement the flavors of cheese and oil-based sauces, it’s an equally good match for light tomato-based sauces. Lemony, as well as creamy flavors, can also be a good match for Chardonnay.
However, if you pair this wine with too strong flavors, you may end up ruining it completely; therefore, it’s best to stick to milder flavors when it comes to Chardonnay.
Similar to other lighter white wines, Riesling also goes well with cheese and oil-based sauces. While risotto and pasta can never go wrong with Riesling, this particular wine can also complement lighter variations of chicken and fish preparations.
In order to not ruin the taste of the wine, stronger flavors must be avoided under all circumstances.
As is obvious from the list, red wines go better with stronger and richer flavors while white wines complement subtle flavors perfectly.
Although this list has been made by keeping in mind the most prominent flavors used in the most popular Italian dishes, it must not stop you from experimenting with your own food and wine combinations.