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Italian Food and Wine: A Pairing Guide

There’s a reason why Italian food and wine go well together: the combination of herbs, spices, and sauces paired with smooth, full-bodied reds or aged, tangy whites creates a dining experience that’s hard to beat.

Here at Pubblico Italian Eatery, we think that exceptional Italian cuisine warrants exceptional Italian wine. And you can view our hand-picked, curated wine list here.

Our team has put together this helpful guide, so the next time you dine with us, you’ll know which wines to pair with your meal to create an unforgettable experience.

Italian Food and Wine: A Pairing Guide

Table of Contents:

  1. Italian Food and Wine Pairing Considerations

  2. Red Wine and Italian Food Pairings

  3. Cabernet Sauvignon

  4. Chianti 

  5. Pinot Noir

  6. White Wine and Italian Food Pairings

  7. Sauvignon Blanc

  8. Chardonnay 

  9. Pinot Grigio 

  10. Conclusion 

People Also Ask:

What wines pair with pasta?

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Pinot Noir 

  • Zinfandel  

Is Prosecco Italian?

Yes! Prosecco is a white sparkling wine from Italy. It is produced in the Italian Prosecco region of the continent. 

Is Chianti a sweet or dry wine?

Chianti is an Italian red wine that is dry. It’s produced in the heart of Tuscany, located in central Italy. 

Italian Food and Wine Pairing Considerations

When looking into Italian food and wine pairings, we recommend attempting to match the richness and texture of the cuisine to the taste and body of the wine. Remember that balancing the flavors is the key when choosing a pairing. Ask yourself how you can maximize the food and the wine characteristics. 

For example: Savory and salty tasting cuisine causes the wine to taste milder, whereas sweet food can intensify the taste of the wine. 

It’s also important to consider how the wine you choose will impact your meal. If your dish is too salty, you can combat this by pairing it with a light sparkling wine to refresh your palate. 

Italian Food and Wine: A Pairing Guide

Continue reading below to learn more about our red and white wine Italian food pairings! 

Red Wine and Italian Food Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied, rich red wine. This red wine gets its namesake from the Cabernet grape it derives from. Cabernet Sauvignons, or Cabs, have a primary flavor of black currant, and some include notes of blackberry and even mint overtones. 

Because of its rich, hearty flavor, Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with most tomato-based sauces used for pasta and pizza. Cabs are also renowned for pairing well with fatty red meats such as sirloin steaks and ribeye and also compliments the flavors of mushrooms, lamb, and most cheeses. 


Chianti is a type of red wine produced in the Chianti region of Italy. Chianti is located in the heart of Tuscany, an Italian region world-famous for its wine grape growing and production. 

Chianti wine is perhaps the most famous wine to pair with Italian cuisine. It is a very dry red wine, but one with a bold, acidic flavor that pairs perfectly with cheese dishes, salads, and red sauces such as marinara, arrabbiata, and Bolognese. 

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a red wine with a light to medium red color. It's a popular choice amongst Italian food lovers and has various vanilla, jam, leather, and earth notes. 

While Pinot Noir pairs well with red tomato-based sauces, it also compliments oil-based dishes and white pasta sauces. 

White Wine and Italian Food Pairings

Sauvignon Blanc 

Sauvignon Blanc is believed to have originated from the Loire Valley and Bordeaux regions of France. Sauvignon Blanc translates to “wild white”; the Sauvignon Blanc grapes grew wild for centuries until the earliest winemakers began harvesting them.

This white wine often produces a light, acidic, and crisp flavor. However, Sauvignon Blanc’s flavors can range from tropical to tart, depending on the ripeness of the grapes. 

Sauvignon Blanc’s taste is unique compared to other white wines due to its light overtones of green apple, lime, peach, and passionfruit. This white wine pairs well with dishes that include parsley, basil, rosemary, mint, cilantro, and more! 


Chardonnay is a white wine that pairs well with creamy Italian dishes such as pasta Alfredo and lighter meats, such as clams and chicken. Chardonnay is also an easy starter wine if you don’t consider yourself a vino enthusiast, making it an excellent pairing choice that won’t overwhelm your tastebuds.

Chardonnay is one of the most popular white wines paired with Italian food. This is due to the variety of flavors that Chardonnay is known for. The grape can release papaya, mango, and pineapple tropical fruit flavors if produced in warmer climates. 

In cooler regions, the Chardonnay grape releases bursts of flavor such as apple, peach, and pear.

Pinot Grigio 

Pinot Grigio (also referred to as Pinot Gris) is a white wine that was initially invented in Italy.  

It has a minerally, dry, and light-bodied profile with a crisp finish. This white wine is lighthearted, making for excellent pairings with light pasta sauces, risottos, and seafood dishes such as trout, scallops, and halibut. 

Flavors you can expect with Pinot Grigio are refreshing, light, and zesty with subtle notes of lemon, melon, apple, and flowers.


Italian food and wine are considered a perfect pair for a good reason. The ideal pairing will take your favorite dish from Pubblico Italian Eatery to a whole new level of decadence and flavor. 

At Pubblico Italian Eatery, we have an exceptional curated wine list for you to explore. And, with the knowledge you've gained about Italian cuisine and wine pairings from this blog post, you’ll be able to choose the right one for your next dining experience.

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