The Secret to Italian Wine and Food Pairing

wine and pasta

Lets talk about Italian wine and food pairing! To begin lets get some technicals out of the way. Sometimes opposites attract, but not always with wine and food. It’s not necessary to always get to mixed up into “what must be drunk with what” according to some wine aficionado’s. Go with Chef Michael Chiarello’s motto of “like what you drink and drink what you like.”  Still, it’s important to remember to always match similar flavors and textures and make sure the intensity of the wine contributes to the flavor of the dish… not over-power it. If you are new to pairing food and wine and are lost as to where to start, then there is no better jumping off point than Italy. Italian wines are known for their ability to pair well with almost any kind of food you could imagine. Today we have a couple beautiful wines that will pair well with some pretty delicious recipes sure to have your mouth watering. 

First off, some rules of thumb to remember when pairing any food and wine: you want to pair similar flavors, richness, textures, acidity, etc. together. Food that is salty and sour will make a wine taste mild (more fruitier and less acidic) where food that is sweet and savory will make a wine taste stronger (more dry and astringent). Also, try and pair light to medium bodied wines with lighter fare such as steamed, sautéed, or poached foods while pairing medium and full-bodied wines with richer foods like grilled, roasted, and baked dishes with more intense flavors. Let’s also take a moment to dispell the common myth that you can only pair white wine with seafood. The right red wine, paired with the right seafood dish can be a magical combination. Don’t believe me? Then just try our 2014 Palmento Costanzo ‘Mofete’ Etna Rosso DOC with a delicious cioppino. And remember, these are just simple guidelines. Learn to trust your palate and you will find that pairing wine and food will become easier the more you experiment. 

So without further ado, lets get on to the main event! Pairing our fabulous Italian wines with mouth watering dishes. These are bound to have you and your guests wanting more!

First Pairing 2013 Perazzeta Maremma Montecucco Toscana & Grilled Lamb Burgers

Our first featured wine is a beautiful 2013 Perazzeta Maremma Montecucco Toscana DOC selling for $28 a bottle. It is made from 100% Sangiovese Grosso which tend to be a more more fruit forward wine. This selection will pair nicely with roasted meat, cured sausages, hard cheeses, or if you are into more vegetarian fair it will go nicely with veggies that are cooked in butter or olive oil. We are pairing it with grilled lamb burger with grilled fingerling potato and sweet corn salad on the side. CLICK HERE to get the wine.

Lamb Burg

Second Pairing: 2016 Poderi Elia Langhe Nebbiolo ‘Padrun’ & Spice Rubbed T-Bone Steak

Next up is the 2016 Poderi Elia Langhe Nebbiolo ‘Padrun’ DOC, a great value at $28/bottle. It is vibrant, and tastes of tangy cherries, warm raspberry, salty chalk, cedar and chocolate. This wine will go great with grilled meats (are you starting to see the theme?)! A spice-rubbed T-bone steak and grilled asparagus as the side is our pairing choice. Make the meal complete with a refreshing berry salad with balsamic and olive oil dressing. CLICK HERE to get the wine. 


When in doubt, remember rules are there to be broken… but in wine, these are simply guidelines, not musts. If you’re eating Italian food, think about having an Italian wine. This isn’t a requirement, but often helps simplify the decision.

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