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A Friendly Guide to Pairing Italian Cuisine with Wine

Ready for a glass of wine this weekend? Visit Basta Pasta!

Ready for a glass of wine this weekend? Visit Basta Pasta!

Nothing seems more classically Italian than a big plate of spaghetti and a glass of red wine. But what type of wine should you drink with that Italian cuisine you love? Generally speaking, the wine should match the food in richness and texture. Read on for some basic considerations when planning your food and wine pairings!

Flavor Balance

If the food you’re eating is salty or sour, the wine you’re drinking will taste milder (less acidic and often fruitier) in comparison. Similarly, if the food is sweet or savory, the wine will taste stronger and more dry. This means, if you’re enjoying a dry, spicy wine, your spicy pasta will make it taste milder and more sweet, but a super sweet dessert will make it taste drier. If you’re drinking sweet wine, it should be as sweet or sweeter than what you’re eating. It is important to balance the flavor of the wine with the flavor of the rest of the meal.

Body Balance

Likewise, you should make sure the body of the wine balances with the depth of the meal. A light wine is better served with light dishes, like sauteed veggies, while a medium or full bodied wine compliments roasts and grilled foods. The wine should never overpower the rest of the meal; this is the reason for the old rule of only drinking white wine with seafood (the truth is that a nice dry Chianti is actually great with many seafood dishes). On the other hand, the meal should also not drown out the wine. If you’re eating something gamey like quail, you need the balance of a deep, spicy, earthy wine like Amarone. A lighter wine would get lost in the robust flavor of the meat.

Regional Inspiration

We often think of the pairing as finding the right wine to match our foods, but it also works the other way. If you have a wine that you really like or want to try, find out what region of Italy it is from. Then, find out what flavors and spices are prevalent or popular in that region and look for recipes that incorporate them. The vines for the grapes grow in the same soil as the vegetables and the feed grain that nourishes the animals. If it grows together, it goes together, so try eating the stuff that comes from the same region as your wine.


For more than 12 years, Basta Pasta has given Maryland diners delicious Italian food from local and fresh ingredients. Enjoy delicious pasta dishes, unlimited salad and breadsticks, and fine wine at one of our locations in Timonium, Fallston, Perry Hall, or Eldersburg. Contact us online or give us a call at the location-specific phone number listed here. Read our menu and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter! If you don’t feel like going out, order our signature crab cakes online and enjoy delicious Basta Pasta from home!

This entry was posted on Friday, February 15th, 2019 at 12:09 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.