Listen, we don’t care what you think, but we believe that pasta was arguably one of man’s greatest inventions, and spaghetti is one of the most delicious and comforting dishes of all time. Spaghetti is a relatively simple dish to make, and it can be elevated in many different ways.
From using ground Italian sausage to the highest-quality olive oil or wine, there are tons of things you can do to take your spaghetti to the next level. In this guide, we’re going to look more closely at some of the best wine pairings for spaghetti.
Let’s dive right in.
How Do You Pair Wine With Pasta (Spaghetti)?
Pairing wine with pasta is an art. You need to think about the ingredients in a pasta dish before pairing it as a whole with wine. For instance, if it’s a cheesy sauce, pick a wine with a creamy texture, like an aged Chardonnay. The texture of the wine must complement the sauce’s texture.
If you’re pairing with spaghetti, which has a tomato-based sauce, remember that tomatoes contain a lot of acidity. As such, the wine you choose must be tart enough to complement the acidic flavors of the tomato sauce without overpowering the spaghetti dish too much.
Now, let’s look more closely at some of the best wines to pair with spaghetti.
No matter who you ask or where you look on the internet, Chianti is one of the most common wine pairings for spaghetti and meatballs! This wine is manufactured in the Chianti region of Tuscany, Italy, and is generally made from Sangiovese grapes, which are found in Tuscany.
This wine pairs very well with spaghetti because of the high amounts of acidity and medium tannins in the Sangiovese grapes. Since tomatoes are highly acidic, and the meatballs contain a nice savory flavour, the tannins and acidity in Chianti wine complement the savory and acidic notes of a plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Additionally, since tomatoes contain sweetness as well, the subtle cherry flavor complements that as well.
There are different types of Chianti wine, with the most common being Chianti Classico. It is a ready-to-drink wine that won’t overpower the flavors in your spaghetti dish.
Primitivo has Croatian origins, though many consider it to be the Italian version of Zinfandel wine. This version is not as fruity or sweet as a Zinfandel, which is why it pairs exceptionally well with spaghetti. Just like Chianti, this wine is highly acidic, but has low tannic levels. The acidity in the wine pairs well with the tomato-based sauce, while its low tannic level pair well with whatever lean meats you choose to include in your meatballs.
If you can’t find Primitivo at your local liquor store, don’t worry! You can always substitute it with Zinfandel. We highly encourage you to buy a mid-range bottle of Zinfandel, because its flavors work well with the rosemary, thyme, beef, and tomato. However, if you buy a more expensive version, you might find that its jammy and sweet flavours might overpower the savory flavours of a plate of spaghetti.
While this wine pairs well with spaghetti, it pairs well with the dish even better if you’ve included meatballs in it. Since this wine has quite an intense and rich flavor, it needs something like meatballs to complement it well!
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo has earthy, spicy, and peppery notes to it, as well as lighter, sweet flavors like plum and cherry. Depending on where you buy a bottle of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, you might find that it is blended with Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. If you’re looking to expand your food palate, this is a great wine to start with. It’s also a great wine to cook with if you’re not interested in drinking it with meals.
Barbera D’Alba is an Italian red wine that has high levels of acidity. It is generally light to medium bodied, though its worth noting that its body tends to vary based on the region that it is produced in. This wine has a great mouthfeel to it; its texture is silky and smooth, which is why it pairs well with spaghetti. Regardless of where you buy this wine from, you’ll come to expect herbaceous and peppery notes, as well as slight sweet plum and cherry notes.
Everyone has their own food preferences and spaghetti tastes, so finding the right pairing might take a little time. If you’re someone that wants to speed up that process, here are some tips for pairing wine with spaghetti.
Think about the role your sauce plays.
Your dish is incomplete without a sauce. No matter what ingredients you choose, like vegetables or some kind of protein, or what herbs and spices you include, you must ensure that the wine pairs well with the sauce. After all, the sauce is what brings a simple plate of spaghetti to life.
Focus on the type of sauce.
A good rule of thumb is to remember this: red wines pair well with red sauces, while white wines pair well with white sauces. While there is no hard and fast rule that you can’t drink red wine with a white sauce, you might find that you enjoy your meal significantly less if you do so.
Consider the body of the wine.
If your wine of choice has a lighter body, it will complement a light and refreshing tomato-based sauce and elevate its flavors. On the other hand, a heavier bodied wine will nicely complement a heavy, rich, and creamy sauce.
If you’re someone that wants to start eating better and trying out different food and drink combinations, then wine a great place to start! You don’t have to buy the most expensive bottle at your local liquor store, but you can start by doing some research about the wines native to the area you live and cook dishes that complement those flavors. Since spaghetti is such a simple dish to make, you can always elevate it by pairing it with a delicious glass of wine.