Pairing wine with Italian food can be a bit tricky, as the country has a wide variety of regional cuisines and wines. However, following a few general guidelines, you can pair wine with Italian food like a pro. Here, one of your favorite Amherst restaurants, Pastamore, provides you with the ultimate guide to wine and food pairing.
Light or Hearty?
First, consider the weight and texture of the food. Light-bodied wines like Pinot Grigio or Vermentino pair well with lighter dishes like seafood, salads, and pasta in light sauces. Medium-bodied wines like Chianti or Montepulciano d’Abruzzo pair well with heartier dishes like pizza and pasta in heavier sauces.
What’s your flavor?
Next, consider the flavors of the food. Wines with high acidity, like a Barbera or a Grillo, pair well with tomato-based dishes and acidic foods like olives and capers. Wines with a good tannin structure, like a Barolo or a Brunello di Montalcino, pair well with meat dishes like steak and wild game.
A little regional expertise always helps.
It’s also essential to consider the wine’s region and grape variety. For example, a classic pairing is a Chianti with a traditional Tuscan dish like bistecca alla fiorentina. This dish consists of a grilled T-bone steak. Similarly, a Sicilian Nero d’Avola pairs well with traditional Sicilian dishes like pasta alla Norma. This dish consists of pasta with eggplant, tomatoes and ricotta salata cheese. This section can be tricky when starting, but a quick conversation with your wine connoisseur will prove worthwhile!
Another essential factor to consider is the level of spiciness in the food. Wines with high alcohol content and bold, spicy flavors, like a Primitivo or a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, can stand up to spicy dishes like pizza with pepperoni or pasta arrabiata.
Have fun experimenting!
Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different combinations! Sometimes, a wine you wouldn’t expect to pair well with a particular dish can surprise you. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the food and wine together!
Amherst restaurants are gearing up for National Drink Wine Day!
We believe that every day is a great day to drink wine! However, in lieu of National Drink Wine, we invite you to come to celebrate with us! Visit Pastamore on February 18th to celebrate with us!