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The Dos and Don'ts of Pairing Italian Wines with Classic Dishes

The Dos and Don'ts of Pairing Italian Wines with Classic Dishes

As a food lover, you know that the perfect pairing can make all the difference in the world when it comes to enhancing the flavour of a dish. The same is true for wine. Choosing the right wine to pair with your meal can elevate the experience and create a harmony of flavours that will leave you satisfied and content.

But with so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to choose the right wine to go with your meal. That's where Donzella Wines comes in. 

As experts in Italian wines, we're here to help you make the perfect match for every flavour. We have a wide selection of quality Italian wines that are perfect for pairing with classic dishes. From light-bodied whites to full-bodied reds, we've got you covered. So, sit back, relax, and let us guide you through the dos and don'ts of pairing Italian wines with classic dishes.

Understanding Italian Wines

Before we dive into the dos and don'ts of wine pairing, let's take a moment to understand Italian wines. 

Italy is home to hundreds of grape varieties, each with its own unique flavour profile. Italian wines are also heavily influenced by terroir, which refers to the specific environmental factors that affect the grapes, such as soil type, climate, and altitude. As a result, Italian wines can vary widely in flavour, body, and acidity based on where they were produced.

The Dos of Wine Pairing

When it comes to pairing Italian wines with classic dishes, there are a few key rules to keep in mind.

1. Match the intensity of the wine with the intensity of the dish

For example, a light-bodied wine like Pinot Grigio pairs well with lighter dishes like seafood or pasta with a light sauce, while a full-bodied wine like Chianti Classico pairs well with heartier dishes like meat or tomato-based pasta dishes.

2. Consider the acidity of both the wine and the dish

High-acid wines like Chianti or Sangiovese pair well with acidic dishes like tomato-based sauces or salads with vinaigrette dressing.

3. Pair bold with bold and mild with mild

Pair bold red wines with bold-flavoured dishes like spicy pizza or pasta arrabbiata, and lighter red or white wines with milder dishes like Margherita pizza or fettuccine Alfredo.

Also, when pairing Italian wines with cheese, match the intensity of the wine with the intensity of the cheese. For example, a full-bodied wine like Barolo pairs well with strong cheeses like gorgonzola or aged Parmesan, while a lighter wine like Prosecco pairs well with milder cheeses like brie or fresh mozzarella.

The Don'ts of Wine Pairing

While there are plenty of dos when it comes to wine pairing, there are also some common mistakes to avoid:

1. Avoid pairing wines with dishes that are too spicy or too sweet

Spicy or sweet dishes can overpower the flavours of the wine and make it difficult to taste.

2. Don't pair red wine with fish or seafood dishes

Red wines can clash with the delicate flavours of fish and seafood, so stick to white wines or light-bodied reds like Pinot Noir or Valpolicella.

3. Don't forget to consider the tannins in your wine

Tannins are compounds found in grape skins and seeds that can give wine a bitter taste. Pair tannic wines like Barolo or Brunello di Montalcino with rich, fatty dishes like steak or braised meats to balance out the bitterness.

Unique Italian Wine Pairings to Try

If you're looking for something beyond the basics, here are some unique Italian wine pairings to try:

  • Pair a crisp, refreshing white wine like Vermentino with spicy Thai or Indian curries for a surprising flavour combination.
  • Try pairing a fruity red wine like Lambrusco with pizza topped with prosciutto and arugula for a delicious balance of sweet and savoury.
  • Match a bold, full-bodied red wine like Amarone with dark chocolate for a decadent dessert pairing.


Can I pair white wine with red meat?

While it's generally recommended to pair red wine with red meat, you can certainly pair a full-bodied white wine like Chardonnay or Viognier with red meat dishes like steak or lamb. Just make sure to choose a white wine with enough body and tannins to stand up to the rich flavours of the meat.

How do I choose the right wine for a cheese platter?

When choosing wine to pair with a cheese platter, consider the intensity of the cheese. Light-bodied white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio pair well with mild cheeses like brie or fresh goat cheese, while full-bodied red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah pair well with stronger cheeses like cheddar or blue cheese. You can also consider the region where the cheese and wine come from, as they often complement each other.

Final Words

In conclusion, pairing the perfect Italian wine with your classic dishes can elevate your dining experience and create a harmonious balance of flavours. By understanding the different types of Italian wines and following the dos and don'ts of wine pairing, you can ensure that you're making the right choice every time. Don't be afraid to experiment with unique pairings to discover new and exciting flavour combinations.

At Donzella Wines, we're passionate about Italian wines and have a wide selection of quality wines that are perfect for pairing with classic dishes. Our team of experts can help you choose the right wine for your meal and ensure that you have a memorable dining experience. So whether you're a seasoned wine connoisseur or a novice wine enthusiast, we're here to guide you through the world of Italian wines.


Visit our website to explore our wines and find your new favourite pairing. And if you have any questions or need assistance, don't hesitate to call us at 01234 713655 or email us

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