italian wine and food

How to choose the right wine for your Italian food

Italians are passionate about their food, and with good reason. Our cuisine is rich with flavour! So, how do you know if the wine you choose to match your meal will be a perfect pair? 

Well, I have all the answers for you here today. I’ve broken down what types of wines go best with different Italian dishes so that you can order confidently next time you’re at the best Italian restaurant in town!

For many people, being asked if they would like to see the wine list when ordering at a restaurant can be confusing, even slightly intimidating sometimes. My Italian restaurant in Sydney will always have knowledgeable waiters to help you decide. If you want to feel like a connoisseur when ordering without any help, keep reading! You will be an Italian wine and food expert in no time.

Bianco (White)

White wines are light, fruity and a refreshing way to start your meal. They have a lower alcohol content than their red counterparts, so they’re perfect for those who prefer something lighter. You can find some of the best Italian or Australian white wines on the menu

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio was created in Italy and is now made and exported worldwide due to its great deal of demand worldwide. Because of this, various countries have now gotten involved in making their own Pinot Grigio.

You can expect light, refreshing, zesty tastes in Pinot Grigio with delicate undertones of apple, flowers, lemon, and melon. The qualities vary depending on where the wine was produced. However, they all embody the same dry, mineral flavour, which is crisp to taste.

This wine is ideal for people who desire something light and refreshing to drink with food as the tastes are quite delicate. Therefore you should match Pinot Grigio with meals that aren’t too flavourful. Pinot Grigio goes excellent with salads of all kinds, as well as light risottos and pasta sauces. It also works wonderfully with fish that isn’t all that fishy, such as halibut, trout, and scallops.

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a great wine to have with Italian meals! Did you know that Chardonnay is the most widely cultivated white wine grape in the world? The village of Chardonnay in Macon, a region in Burgundy, France, gives its name to Chardonnay. It’s so popular across the world’s vineyards because it grows well in a wide range of weather and soil conditions.

The flavour of Chardonnay changes depending on where it was grown. The grape releases tropical fruit notes of mango, papaya, and pineapple in warm weather with soft acidity levels. However, Chardonnay has more apple, peach, pear, and other citrus nuances in cooler agricultural regions with stronger acidic qualities.

If you don’t enjoy the flavour of Chardonnay, there are still a variety of other labels to try! Because Chardonnay is so versatile, no two bottles are identical. But, what meal should you pair this white wine with? Chardonnay goes fantastic with oil and cream-based sauces – whether soup, pasta, meat or fish.

Not only is fish the best food for white wine, but it’s also one of the healthiest! Light and delicate dishes like raw or lightly cooked shellfish are ideal complements to Chardonnay. Grilled fish, fish patés, and seafood risottos benefit from the mild acidity. Ask for a Chardonnay bottle next time you’re searching for an Italian restaurant near me if you’re planning on eating something from the sea.

Sauvignon Blanc

The origin of Sauvignon Blanc is said to be in the Loire Valley and Bordeaux region of France. Sauvignon Blanc means “wild white,” as vines grew wild for hundreds of years until early winemakers began to tame them.

This Sauvignon Blanc is light and refreshing yet complex enough to match at least one of your courses. For the ideal food with this white wine, go green! Because Sauvignon Blanc has a more savoury flavour profile than other white varieties, it complements herbs like parsley, cilantro, rosemary, basil, mint and others!

If you come across a dish that includes any of these tastes, it will bring the best out of your glass of Sauvignon Blanc. So be sure to keep an eye out when next browsing through a wine list. The wine also goes great with white meat, including chicken, pork chops, and turkey. Or, If you are a cheese lover, soft and salty cheeses are also great options.

Rosso (Red)

Many different red wines go great with Italian meals, but be mindful when choosing which red wine would pair best with your Italian dish. This is because some can overpower or clash rather than complement delicate flavours like mushrooms or truffle oil. It’s important to remember these three qualities when selecting your wine: dryness (not too much), body (full-bodied, not light-bodied), and fruitiness.

Barolo

Barolo is a rich, crimson Italian wine produced in the Piedmont region of northern Italy dating back over 2,500 years. Barolo wine is made from the world-famous Nebbiolo grape. If you’re searching for one of Italy’s greatest wines, look no further. Barolo has a distinctive reddish colour and powerful acidic notes that distinguish it from other similar red wines.

The modern Barolo has a strong mix of tar, rose, herbs, red berries and fruit, truffles, coffee, chocolate, and various other earthy notes. But why is Barolo perhaps the finest Italian wine to pair with food? Barolo goes wonderfully with beef – especially rare beef, steak, tartare and filet mignon, as well as duck and chicken.

Don’t worry vegetarians, we haven’t forgotten about you! Risottos in particular, which have a strong flavour of truffle or mushroom, are wonderful compliments to Barolo wine!

Are you also a self-declared chocolate connoisseur? Try this wine with your favourite dark chocolate for a truly unique experience. This wine can also be served with strong cheeses such as gorgonzola, goat’s cheese, or sheep’s cheese.

Chianti

A Chianti wine is any wine produced in the Chianti region of Italy. Tuscany’s heart, near the top of Italy’s boot, is home to Chianti. Today, Chianti is recognised for producing robust and dry red wines using Sangiovese grapes. The wine has a strong flavour with earthy undertones and high tannins.

Chianti is, without a doubt, one of the most popular Italian wines. If there’s anything we Italians can be relied on… you guessed it; it’s wine! Wine has been a passion in Italy for thousands of years, and they have perfected the craft of viticulture.

Chianti goes wonderfully with tomato sauces, including arrabiata, marinara, or bolognese for pasta dishes. Chianti even works nicely with fresh pizza when considering the best red wine for Italian cuisine! The acidity of the wine is very comparable to most tomato-based sauces, making this wine a great match.

It’s no secret that Italian wine and cuisine complement each other like a devoted married couple. Not only because we Italians enjoy getting tipsy while eating our favourite Italian meals… That’s just the cherry on top!

Wine and food pairings are popular for various reasons, including flavours, textures and tones. Choosing the finest Italian wine and meal pairing will leave you walking out of your favourite Italian restaurant satisfied with a big grin on your face!

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