Pairing Wine with Pasta Dishes


There’s nothing quite like enjoying a delicious plate of pasta paired with a glass of wine. Whether you’re a fan of rich and creamy alfredo sauce, tangy tomato-based marinara, or hearty meatballs, there’s a wine out there that can enhance the flavors of your pasta dish. In this blog post, we will explore the art of pairing wine with pasta dishes, offering tips and suggestions to help you create the perfect culinary experience.

Understanding Wine Pairing Basics

When it comes to pairing wine with pasta dishes, there are a few key principles to keep in mind. The first is to consider the flavors and ingredients of the pasta dish. For example, a light and delicate seafood pasta might call for a crisp and refreshing white wine, while a hearty and meaty bolognese sauce could be complemented by a bold and full-bodied red wine.

Another important factor to consider is the sauce and texture of the pasta. Creamy sauces are often best paired with wines that have a higher acidity to cut through the richness, while tomato-based sauces can be complemented by wines with a bit of sweetness to balance out the acidity. Additionally, the texture of the pasta itself can play a role in wine pairing – for example, a delicate angel hair pasta might be best paired with a light white wine, while a chewy and hearty penne pasta could stand up to a robust red wine.

Pairing Wine with White Sauce Pasta Dishes

One popular type of pasta dish that often involves a white sauce is fettuccine alfredo. This creamy and rich sauce is typically made with butter, cream, and parmesan cheese, creating a decadent dish that is perfect for special occasions. When it comes to pairing wine with a fettuccine alfredo dish, a rich and buttery Chardonnay can be an excellent choice. The wine’s creamy texture and notes of oak and vanilla can complement the richness of the sauce, creating a harmonious pairing that enhances the flavors of both the pasta and the wine.

Another white sauce pasta dish that is often paired with wine is shrimp scampi. This dish features shrimp sautéed in garlic, butter, and white wine, creating a light and flavorful sauce that pairs well with a crisp and refreshing white wine. A Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio can be a good choice for this dish, as their citrusy and herbal notes can accentuate the flavors of the shrimp and garlic, creating a well-balanced and refreshing pairing.

Pairing Wine with Red Sauce Pasta Dishes

Red sauce pasta dishes, such as spaghetti marinara or penne arrabbiata, are classic comfort foods enjoyed by many. These dishes often feature a tomato-based sauce that can vary in acidity and sweetness, making wine pairing a bit more complex. When selecting a wine to pair with a red sauce pasta dish, consider the level of acidity in the sauce – the higher the acidity, the more you’ll want to reach for a wine with a bit of sweetness to balance it out.

For a classic spaghetti marinara, a light and fruity red wine like a Chianti or Sangiovese can be a good choice. These wines have bright red fruit flavors and a touch of acidity that can complement the tangy tomato sauce, creating a harmonious pairing that highlights the flavors of both the pasta and the wine. Alternatively, a slightly sweet and spicy Zinfandel can also be a great match for a spicy arrabbiata sauce, as the wine’s bold flavors can stand up to the heat of the dish and enhance its spicy notes.

Pairing Wine with Meat Pasta Dishes

Meat-based pasta dishes, such as spaghetti and meatballs or lasagna, are hearty and satisfying meals that can benefit from a well-paired wine. When selecting a wine to pair with a meat pasta dish, consider the type of meat used in the dish – for example, a rich and fatty meat like beef might call for a full-bodied red wine, while a lighter meat like chicken could be paired with a medium-bodied white wine.

For a classic spaghetti and meatballs dish, a medium-bodied red wine like a Merlot or Barbera can be a good choice. These wines have soft tannins and notes of ripe fruit that can complement the flavors of the meatballs and tomato sauce, creating a balanced and flavorful pairing that enhances the overall dining experience. Additionally, a hearty lasagna dish can be paired with a robust red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec, as the wine’s bold flavors can stand up to the richness of the dish and enhance its savory notes.

Experimenting with Wine Pairings

While the suggestions above can provide a good starting point for pairing wine with pasta dishes, it’s important to remember that wine pairing is ultimately a matter of personal preference. The best way to discover your favorite wine and pasta pairings is to experiment with different wines and dishes to find combinations that you enjoy.

Consider hosting a wine and pasta tasting party with friends or family to sample various wines alongside different pasta dishes. Take notes on how each wine interacts with the flavors of the dish and pay attention to how the pairing enhances your dining experience. With a bit of experimentation and an open mind, you may discover new and exciting wine and pasta pairings that become your go-to favorites for future meals.


Pairing wine with pasta dishes can be a fun and rewarding experience that enhances the flavors of both the food and the wine. By considering the flavors, ingredients, and textures of the pasta dish, as well as the characteristics of the wine, you can create harmonious pairings that elevate your dining experience to new heights. So next time you’re enjoying a plate of pasta, don’t forget to pour yourself a glass of wine and savor the delicious combination of flavors. Cheers to delicious wine and pasta pairings!

Visit Our Supper Club Today!

Welcome to the Hotel Seymour Supperclub! Since 2004, Hotel Seymour has been a fine-dining restaurant located in Seymour, Wisconsin. Our friendly staff will get you settled in and provide you with the best dining experience Seymour has to offer. Whether you’re celebrating romance, a birthday, an anniversary, or a regular night out, we’re the perfect place for any occasion. Hotel Seymour is known for its amazing food and drinks, enormous salad bar, and extremely professional service. Our menu includes appetizers, pasta, sandwiches, seafood, steak, and many other fine-dining favorites. We are very much looking forward to having you as our guest, and we are committed to making your evening both delightful and memorable. Call ahead today!

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