In this article, the experts from The Vino Shop show you how to buy the perfect Italian wine online and pair it with the best dish that will impress your friends or date – something that they’ll never forget.
We all know what it’s like when you’re unsure which wine goes well with specific food or if you’re even making the right choice. Let us take all the guesswork out of it for you because we’ve got some great tips on how to make sure everyone at your table will be impressed by what’s in their glass.
Let’s dive in and discover how to choose and pair the perfect Italian wine with food.
Wine is a complex drink with many different flavors and styles
No man wants to look like he doesn’t know what he’s doing, so here’s a little cheat sheet on the basics of Italian wine.
There are four main types of Italian wine:
Within each of those categories, there are countless wines to choose from. But that’s a whole other guide!
Pairing wine with food can be a daunting task, but it’s worth it for the right meal
When it comes to pairing wine with food, you must consider the following:
- The weight of the wine
- The acidity of the wine
- The sweetness of the wine
- The tannin of the wine
- The flavor of the wine
For example, with a rich, heavy dish like Osso Buco, you’ll want to pair it with a heavier red wine like a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a good option for those who prefer classic pairings. Alternatively, for something a little more unique, try a Zinfandel. Its fruity flavor profile complements the slight sweetness of the Osso Buco sauce nicely.
Some general guidelines can help you pair Italian wines with food
First, think about the weight of the wine and how it relates to the weight of the food. Heavier dishes should be paired with heavier wines, while lighter dishes can be paired with lighter wines.
Next, consider the flavor profile of both the wine and the dish. Do they share similar flavors? Then, they’ll pair well together. For example, if you’re serving a dish with lots of herbs, you might want to choose a wine with herbal notes.
Red wine is typically paired with red meat dishes
Why? Well, it’s because red meat is a source of iron, and red wine is a good source of antioxidants. The antioxidants in red wine help prevent the oxidation of the iron in the meat, which can cause it to become carcinogenic. Also, the tannins in red wine help reduce the risk of gastrointestinal problems caused by eating red meat.
White wine is often paired with fish or chicken dishes
Traditionally, white wine is paired with lighter fare like chicken or fish. Why? Because white wines tend to be more acidic than red wines and therefore pair well with foods that are not as rich or heavy. Additionally, the delicate flavors of white wine can be easily overshadowed by more robust flavors, making them a good match for delicate seafood and poultry dishes.
Sparkling wine can be paired with just about any type of food
There are a few types of foods that pair best with sparkling wine. The first is light, fresh foods. Think of things like sushi, seafood, and salads. The second is fruit-based dishes. These could be something like a fruit salad or a savory dish with roasted fruit. The third is rich desserts. Sparkling wine can cut through the sweetness of a chocolate cake or tiramisu.
As for why these types of foods pair best with sparkling wine, it has to do with the acidity and bubbles in the wine. Both help to cleanse the palate and refresh the mouth after eating rich or heavy foods. They also help to bring out the flavors in lighter dishes.
The versatility of Italian Rose wines
There are a few different types of Italian Rose wines, but some of the best food pairings include dishes with bold flavors. For example, a light and refreshing Italian Rose pairs well with grilled seafood or a salad with a strong dressing. A more full-bodied Rose wine goes well with heartier fare like pasta in red sauce or grilled meats. Try out a few different combinations and see what you like best? Salute!
Sweet wines should be paired with desserts or cheese plates
There are a few different schools of thought on choosing a wine to pair with dessert or cheese. Some people believe that you should always match the sweetness of the wine with the sweetness of the dessert. Others think that it’s more important to choose a wine that will complement the flavors in the dish.
Some Italian wines pair well with desserts because they have a sweet flavor. For example, Moscato d’Asti is a sweet white wine from Piedmont that pairs well with cakes and pastries. Similarly, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is a sweet red wine made from the Montepulciano grape, which pairs well with chocolate desserts and cheese plates.
Regional pairings: Tuscany, Veneto, and Piemonte
Tuscan wines are some of the best in the world, and they pair perfectly with food from their respective regions. Sangiovese pairs well with dishes like Florentine steak, while Chianti pairs perfectly with Tuscan bread soup. Pinot grigio is a versatile wine that pairs well with many different types of food, including seafood, chicken, and salads. Brunello di Montalcino is a full-bodied red wine that complements hearty meats like wild boar or grilled steak. Super Tuscan wines are blended using two or more grape varieties and can be paired with just about anything. No matter what you’re eating, there’s a Tuscan wine out there that will pair perfectly with it.
Some excellent food pairings with Veneto wines include seafood dishes such as shrimp scampi or lobster with tomato sauce. Other good pairings include dishes with olive oil or butter sauces and dishes containing fresh herbs like basil and parsley. As for why these foods work so well with Veneto wines, it’s because of the region’s proximity to the sea and its abundance of fresh seafood. The herbs, in particular, also add a lot of flavor to dishes and work well with the tart and acidic notes in many Veneto wines.
There are many amazing food pairings with regional Italian wines from Piemonte. We would highly recommend trying a Barbera d’Asti with some traditional Piedmontese dishes like agnolotti del plin or Tajarin pasta. The Barbera has a beautiful acidity that cuts through the richness of the dish and brings out the flavours of the wine. Another great pairing is a Nebbiolo d’Alba with braised beef or wild boar. The tannins in the wine help soften the meat and bring out its natural flavors. Lastly, you can’t go wrong with a Moscato d’Asti as an after-dinner treat. The sweetness of the wine pairs perfectly with desserts.
If you’re not sure what to do, ask your server for recommendations
As men, we like to be in charge – we get it! But you don’t have to be in charge all the time – in fact, it can work in your favor if you show you’re willing to let your server take the lead now and then. That way, they’ll feel appreciated and like they’re doing a good job. Plus, it gives you a chance to sit back, relax and enjoy your meal. When it comes to pairing wine with food, there are no hard and fast rules. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but the tips here will be enough for you to avoid any novice blunders!