27 Perfect Pasta & Wine Pairings: What Wine Goes with Pasta?

I’m often asked, “What wine goes with pasta?” by my readers. It seems like a simple enough question but the truth is, there are a few variables to consider; the sauce, the other ingredients, and the general weight of the dish. Pairing wine with food has a few tips and tricks. To make things easier, I did the work for you. This is a pretty extensive guide 27 regional pasta dishes with their wine pairings. It took me forever to research it, so I hope you love it.

Wanting to do right by you, I began researching different pasta dishes from each region when I stumbled upon this food map of the Italy. Is it not perfect?! I headed straight to my laptop to write this post for you, mostly to prevent myself from running to the kitchen and eating everything in site. So here it is: What wine goes with pasta by region and style! I’ve even linked to recipes because I love you so much.

  • Pasta dishes from each Italy region
  • What wine goes with pasta from each region of Italy
  • Traditional wine pairing with a red and white from the region
  • International wine pairing with a red and white from around the world
This incredible map is from Taste Atlas. If you love it as much as I do, you can actually buy it!

For this wine pairing with pasta list, I’ve included a wine from the region that the dish is from. This follows the wine pairing philosophy, if it grows together, it goes together. So when wondering what wine goes with pasta, grab a map and find out where the pasta dish came from. I’ve also included an international wine that may be easier to find at a wine shop. I’ve chosen a red and a white in each category. I’ve written the names of the dishes in their Italian names. Scroll through the pictures to find what you’re looking for faster.

Photo from The Pasta Project

Penne Pasta alla Valdostana from Val d’Aosta

The Aosta Valley borders Switzerland so it’s no surprise that their regional pasta dish would basically be pasta tossed in fondue. This penne pasta dish is cubed ham with a creamy Fotina cheese sauce.

What wine pairs with all Valdostana creamy cheese sauce?

The red and white grape from Val d’Aosta have French names; Petit Rouge (rosso) and Prié Blanc (bianco). Both these grapes have a fair amount of acidity which is necessary to cut through all that delicious cheese and the salt of the ham.

Wine Pairing with Pasta alla ValdostanaRedWhite
TraditionalPetit RougePrié Blanc

Agnolotti from Piemonte

Agnolotti is a stuffed pasta dish from the Piemonte region in north west Italy. It is stuffed with minced veal and pork, or beef and rabbit, and topped with butter and parmesan cheese. Northern Italy has more butter based dishes than the olive oil based dishes of the south.

What Wine Pairs with Agnolotti?

Piemonte is famous for red wines of the Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Dolcetto grapes. Barolo and Barbaresco might be too much for this dish so opt for a softer Barbera. Choose a juicy red with nice acidity or a white wine with structure and body.

Wine Pairing with AgnolottiRedWhite
TraditionalBarbera d’AlbaGavi di Gavi
InternationalCarignanGrenache Blanc
Photo from The Pasta Project

from Lombardia

Pizzoccheri alla Valtellinese is buckwheat pasta with cabbage, potatoes, and cheese from the Lombardy region by the Alps. A very hearty yet vegetarian dish with plenty of Swiss influence.

What Wine Pairs with Pizzoccheri?

Lombardia is home to the famous sparkling wine, Franciacorta. It would be a shame not to mention that. Now, dry sparkling wine like Franciacorta and Champagne go with all foods, so feel free to take that into consideration. However, I’ve chosen a still red and white that will match with the heartiness of the dish but with enough acidity to lift up the whole palate.

Wine Pairing with PizzocherriRedWhite
TraditionalRosso di Valtellina (dominantly Nebbiolo)Trebbiano di Lugana
InternationalPinot NoirSylvaner

Spatzle Tirolesi from Trentino-Alto Adige

Spatzle tirolesi is spinach gnocchi-like pasta with speck (or bacon) in a creamy butter sauce. It is a traditional German dish as well, not unsurprising considering the huge German influence of northern Italy. Residents of Alto-Adige speak German.

What Wine Pairs with Spatzle Tirolesi?

When considering the elements of Spatzle Tirolesi, a light red wine with enough acidity to cut through the butter and bacon is the best choice. Schiava is the lighter red wine of Alto-Adige. Müller Thurgau also has a good amount of acidity and would be a lovely pairing.

Wine Pairing with
Spatzle Tirolesi
TraditionalSchiavaMüller Thurgau
InternationalCinsaultDry German Riesling
Photo from Ricette della Nonna

Lasagna con Semi di Papavero from Friuli

Wide noodles with poppy seeds is a very traditional and rustic dish from Friuli. Now, I know it says lasagna but lasagna is the type of pasta, not the layered dish we think of, don’t worry, there’s a lasagna dish later on.

What wine goes with Lasagna con Semi di Papavero?

Pinot Grigio is the king of Friuli wines and the aromatic quality of the grape is a lovely pairing with the sage aromas of the dish. Again, cream sauces need acidity or else they’ll feel flabby on the palate. For red, you’ve got to try a Schioppettino. I mean, it is so fun to say. It nearly went extinct but is now making some great red in Friuli. This pairing is great because there are so many savory notes to Schioppettino which will complement the sage and poppy seeds in the dish.

Wine Pairing with
Spatze Tirolesi
TraditionalSchioppettinoPinot Grigio
InternationalLimnionaMalvazija Istarska

Tortelli di Zucca from Emilia- Romagna

What wine goes with pasta from Emilia-Romagna? Tortelli di Zucca is pumpkin stuffed pasta dumpling tossed in sage butter. I mean, yum! How perfect would this dish be for autumn when everyone is already going crazy over pumpkin everything. Emilia-Romagna is home to the famous Balsamic vinegar of Modena so the traditional dish clearly must have a drizzly of it.

What Wine Pairs with Butternut Squash?

The butter in this dish is begging for a crisp wine whether red or white. A wine with a little spice will also complement the nutmeg and sage of the dish.

Wine Pairing with
Tortelli di Zucca
TraditionalDry LambruscoMalvasia
Photo from Wine Dharma

Lasagne alla Bolognese from Emilia-Romagna

Okay, I know we just did a pasta dish from Emilia-Romagna but how do we skip over Lasagne alla Bolognese, or lasagna for us non-Italians! Bolognese is from Bologna (duh). It is a thick meat ragu of pork and beef layered between sheets of pasta.

What wine pairs with Lasagna?

Is there anything more comforting and hearty than a big piece of lasagna? I think not. The wine that goes with this pasta dish needs to be bold enough to not get overpowered. Barbera is a great choice or an equally juicy Zin. For white, the white grape Albana from Romagna will do nicely or a barrel aged Viognier that has some body to it.

Wine Pairing with
Lasagne alla Bolognese
TraditionalBarberaAlbana di Romagna
Photo from Luca’s Italy

Bigoli in Salsa from Veneto

Bigoli in Salsa is one of the most common dishes in a Venetian home. It is a spaghetti, or thicker noodles, with a 3 ingredient sauce; anchovies, onion, and water. In Veneto, you may hear it pronounced without the l.

What wine goes with pasta from Venice?

I can’t in good conscious recommend a red wine to go with an anchovy pasta dish. However, there are some amazing rosé wines from the Rondinella grape (one of the grapes of Valpolicella). Otherwise, a white wine with great acidity and minerality will pair beautifully with this dish.

Wine Pairing with
Bigoli in Salsa
TraditionalRondinella RoséSoave
InternationalRosé from ProvenceAssyrtiko
Photo from Italian Chef

Trenette al Pesto from Liguria

Trenette al Pesto is a dish made of ribbon pasta and the famous basil from Liguria. If you’ve visited Cinque Terre you’ve definitely had it or seen it on a menu. If you don’t find trenette you can substitute linguini.

What wine goes with pasta with pesto sauce?

Liguria predominantly produces white wine. An herbacious white wine is the best match with pesto sauce. Check out a Vermentino which is the dominant white grape of Liguria. Otherwise a Gruner Veltliner has a great peppery finish which will pair nicely. For reds, a high acid red like Sangiovese or Grenache will do. Don’t forget rosé!

Wine Pairing with
Trenette al Pesto
InternationalGrenacheGruner Veltliner
The Pasta Project

Papparedelle al Cinghiale from Toscana

Papparedelle al Cinghiale is wide ribbon pasta with a wild boar ragu made famously in Tuscany. This is a thick tomato-based sauce that is very flavorful.

What wines goes with pasta with wild boar ragu?

A wine with high acid and weight is necessary to match with the acidity of the tomatoes and the heartiness of the wild boar. Choose a traditional wine from the region, thankfully Tuscany has a million Sangiovese based choices like Brunello di Montelcino. For white, Vernaccia is the local white grape. If that seems too light for the dish opt for an orange wine that has some tannic structure.

Wine Pairing with
Pappardelle al Cinghiale
TraditionalBrunello di MontelcinoVernaccia
InternationalXinomavroOrange Wine
Photo from The Pasta Project

Maccheroncini di Campofilone from Le Marche

In Le Marche, they take their pasta serious. So seriously that they protected the name of their 600 year old pasta, Maccheroncini di Campofilone. This is an EU guarantee of quality. There are very strict protocols, even with label design to classify the product. Meaning just like Champagne can only be from the Champagne region, this particular egg-based pasta can only use the name when it’s from the village of Campofilone in Le Marche and must be produced a certain way. This particular recipe, is a ragu, not very different from Bolognese sauce.

What Wine Pairs with Maccheroncini di Campofilone?

Le Marche has 2 main grapes, Verdicchio for white wine production and Sangiovese for red wine. Not a coincidence that both go splendidly with this dish. Cabernet Franc is just the correct amount of acidity and body with this dish. A Semillon is a nice choice if you prefer white wine.

Wine Pairing with
Maccheroncini di Campofilone
InternationalCabernet FrancSemillon
Photo from The Pasta Project

Pasta alla Norcina from Umbria

Umbria is famous for their sausages and cured meats especially from the town of Norcina. They also are one of the few areas in Central Italy that has black truffles. This pasta dish is sausages and truffles in a cream sauce. Simple and delicious.

What Wine Goes With Pasta alla Norcina?

The local grape Sagrantino was relatively obscure until it was discovered that it is the grape with the highest amount of polyphenols. I’m just thinking that will all that cured meat and sausage around Umbria they would need the most heart-healthy grape in the world to be close by. The white grape of Umbria is Grechetto. Grechetto is an herbaceous grape with a rich texture. It can also stand up to the richness of the dish.

Wine Pairing with
Pasta alla Norcina
InternationalPetite SirahBurgundy
Photo from Foodie Crush

Spaghetti alla Carbonara from Rome

Spaghetti alla Carbonara is essentially spaghetti coated in a cream sauce with bacon, eggs, and cheese- but not in a McMuffin kind of way, although it may have been American soldiers in Rome that coined the name of the dish.

What wine goes with Carbonara?

Cream sauces need some weight and acid to balance them out. The saltiness of the cheese and bacon also benefit from acidity too. The local grapes in Lazio are Trebbiano and Malvasia, both white. Trebbiano is the better match especially in the Orvieto DOC when it’s blended with Grechetto. This would also be a good match with oaked Chardonnay. For red, a simple light red from the region is quite tasty, mostly based on the Cesanese grape.

Wine Pairing with
Spaghetti alla Carbonara
TraditionalCesanese del PiglioOrvieto
InternationalCrianza TempranilloNew World Chardonnay
Photo from Carl’s Bad Cravings

Cacio e Pepe from Rome

Cacio e Pepe is simply translated to cheese and pepper, yet this combination is timelessly delicious. Tonnarelli is the traditional pasta to use but bucatini and spaghetti will be easier to find.

Wine Pairing with Cacio e Pepe

The black pepper and cheese are great with the local wines of Lazio. You’ll find some Sangiovese based reds in the region. The acidity is a nice complement to the cheese. Malvasia, a white grape, creates a nice contrast with the pepper. Both Syrah and Gruner Veltliner have a nice peppery finish that’ll

Wine Pairing with
Cacio e Pepe
InternationalA lighter SyrahGruner Veltliner
Photo from Girl Gone Gourmet

Bucatini all’Amatriciana from Abruzzo

Bucatini all’Amatriciana is a pasta dish with bacon or pancetta in a spicy tomato sauce. You’ll find variations of the dish throughout central Italy but the home of Bucatini all’Amatriciana is a small town in Abruzzo called Amatrice. They even have a festival in August to celebrate the dish.

Wine Pairing with Bucatini all’Amatriciana

The wine pairing with Bucatini all’Amatriciana is one of the best example of if it grows together, it goes together. Both the local red grape Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and the white grape Pecorino are perfect with this dish.

Wine Pairing with
Bucatini all’Amatriciana
Photo from Manuela Zangara

Cavatelli con Ragu di Maiale from Molise

Molise is a tiny region in Italy but one famous for their pork and olive oil. This cavatelli dish is hearty and delicious. It’s a basic tomato-based ragu, meaning meat sauce, but in Molise, they cut the pieces of meat a bit larger instead of minced or ground up.

Wine Pairing with Cavetelli con Ragu di Maiale

Like many meat based pasta sauces, this ragu pairs best with a wine with acidity and body. Tintilia del Molise is the regional red wine and Falaghina is the region white wine of Molise. Agiorgitiko is a Greek red wine with great acidity. A white from Bordeaux (Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc) would be lovely too if you insist on white.

Wine Pairing with
Cavetelli con Ragu di Maiale
TraditionalTintilia del MoliseFalaghina
InternationalAgiorgitikoWhite Bordeaux
Photo by Daniel Schmal

Linguine allo Scoglio from Campania

Linguine with Seafood is a common dish in the southern Italian region of Campania where seafood is abundant from the Mediterranean. It is mussels, squid, shrimp, and tomatoes in a white wine sauce.

Wine Pairing with Linguine allo Scoglio

Usually red wine and seafood dishes don’t pair well together. The saving grace here is the tomato sauce that can take on a red wine. The better pairing is white wine especially Fiano or Greco di Tufo. If you must, the regional red of Campania is Aglianico but Piedirosso is starting to make a name for itself. If you can find either in a rossato or rosé expression, grab it. Pinot Noir is light enough in body to not overpower the seafood as well.

Wine Pairing with
Linguine allo Scoglio
InternationalPinot NoirAlbariño
Photo from Donal Skehan

Spaghetti alle Vongole from Campania

Spaghetti alle Vongole is spaghetti with clams. Another delicious seafood pasta dish from Campania. It’s a simple dish that uses fresh clams, parsley, and white wine.

Wine Pairing with Spaghetti alle Vongole

Here I really must insist you have a white or rosé, or rosato in Italian. A red wine would completely overpower the dish and the delicate clam flavors will be lost. Greco di Tufo is another white grape from Campania that pairs great with seafood. A dry rosé of Grenache or even of Aglianico would be as close to red as I would go with this.

Wine Pairing with
Spaghetti alle Vongole
TraditionalRosé of AglianicoGreco di Tufo
InternationalGrenache RoséVerdejo
Photo from Luca’s Italy

Orecchiette alla Cime di Rapa from Puglia

Orecchiette alla cime di rapa is ear-shaped pasta with broccoli rabe in an garlic and olive oil sauce. Olive oil is much more dominant in the south versus the cream sauces of the north. This is a bright dish, great for springtime.

What Wine Pairs with Orechiette alla Cime di Rapa?

Puglia is known for 2 red grapes, Negroamaro and Primitivo. Neither is a great match with this dish. Primitivo is essentially the same grape as Zinfandel and Negroamaro is quite big and bold, too. However, Puglia makes amazing roses and this is what I would chose over a red. The whites Fiano and Verdeca are less common in Puglia but delicious. Try a Verdeca. It’s got a great green character that’ll match with the broccoli rabe, as would a Sauvignon Blanc.

Wine Pairing with
Orechiette alla Cime di Rapa
TraditionalNegroamaro RosatoVerdeca
InternationalProvence RoséSauvignon Blanc
Photo by Italian Kiwi

Ciceri e Tria from Puglia

Ciceri e tria translates to tagliatelle and chickpeas in the Puglese dialect. It also has tomato, celery, and carrot. The pasta is quickly fried as well which gives it a nice texture. It’s an easy dish to make on a weeknight with a can of chickpeas if you don’t have time to soak them overnight.

Wine Pairing with Ciceri e Tria

This pasta dish has a bit more weight to it and can handle the reds of Puglia. Primitivo would be my choice. Switch up the white wine and try a Fiano. Since this dish doesn’t have a lot of acidity, it’s a great opportunity to pair it with a Spanish white from the Viura grape.

Wine Pairing with
Ciceri e Tria
When you have an opportunity to post a relevant picture of Danny DeVito, you take it! Photo from Jamie Oliver.

Strascinati con Mollica from Basilicata

So Danny DeVito’s grandparents are from this tiny village in Basilicata where they regional dish is Strascinati con Mollica. It’s a pasta dish with spicy peppers, plum tomatoes, a ton of garlic, and mollica or breadcrumbs. Check out the emotional video here.

What Wine Goes with Strascinati con Mollica?

Aglianico is the king of wine in Basilicata. There’s a bit of white wine, too, namely Greco, Malvasia, and Fiano. Aglianico is what is traditional had with this pasta dish. Carmenere has a lot of pepper flavors which can be a good substitute if you can’t find Aglianico.

Wine Pairing with
Strascinati con Mollica
Photo from An Italian in my Kitchen

Spaghetti e Alici from Calabria

Spaghetti e Alici is spaghetti tossed with anchovies and tomatoes in olive oil. It’s seasoned with crushed pepper and basil as well. A classic and delicious Calabrian pasta dish.

What Wine Pairs with Spaghetti e Alici?

In Calabria, 90% of the wine is red. The Magliocco Canino grape has some spice to it which might work. However, the whites are what we want here with this dish. Again, rosato is preferred over red if you don’t want white. Greco di Bianco would be a great choice. Calabria was first planted by the Greeks so I figured I’d throw in an Assyrtiko and Liatiko as well for the international pairing.

Wine Pairing with
Spaghetti e Alici
TraditionalMagliocco CaninoGreco di Bianco
Photo from Cookie and Kate

Pasta alla Norma from Sicily

Pasta alla Norma is simple ingredients that yield amazing results. Eggplant, basil, and tomato sauce is all that’s needed to make this Sicilian pasta dish. Fun fact: it was named after the opera Norma that was performed in Catania.

What Wine Goes with Pasta alla Norma?

Sicily has so many unique grape varieties. The most famous are Nero d’Avola and Nerollo Mascalese for red wine and Grillo and Carricante for white wine. Carricante is usually used in the field blend better known at Etna Bianco. A young Malbec goes beautifully with tomato sauce, as well. Vidiano from Crete is always a safe bet with summer vegetables like eggplant or even zucchini.

Wine Pairing with
Pasta alla Norma
TraditionalNero d’AvolaEtna Bianco
Photo from Wednesday Chef

Pasta chi Sardi from Sicily

Raisins, sardines, and fennel, oh my! Pasta chi Sardi doesn’t sound like the flavors would be so harmonious, but they are. This is a very different type of pasta dish that is worth trying, even for you anchovy and sardine haters.

Wine Pairing with Pasta chi Sardi

Here we go with those pesky sardines/anchovies again. I wish I could say this would be a great opportunity for red wine but again, you’ll have to go with rosato or white. Malvasia is superb with these flavors especially highlighting the raisin notes. A rosato of Nerollo Mascalese would also be excellent with this dish. You may also find it as Etna Rosato.

Wine Pairing with
Pasta chi Sardi
TraditionalEtna RosatoMalvasia
InternationalVin GrisVihno Verde

Want to learn more about Italian grape varieties? Check out this Top 10 Italian Grapes to Know post.

Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia from Sicily

Your eyes are not deceiving you, that spaghetti is black from squid ink. Cool, huh? You can buy squid with the ink sac still attached or find it sold separately in some fine food markets. It’s really flavorful and earthy.

What Wine goes With Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia?

Pairing wine with squid ink may seem challenging but it’s not. A great wine with this dish would be Pinot Nero, or as you likely know it better as Pinot Noir. It really brings out the earthy flavors of the dish. For white, the Sicilian grape Grillo is absolutely perfect with this dish or even a Chardonnay from Chablis would be delicious.

Wine Pairing with
Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia
TraditionalPinot NeroGrillo
InternationalPinot NoirChablis

Culurgiones di Ogliastra from Sardinia

Culurgiones are essentially ravioli just made in a unique shape in Sardinia. They are stuffed with cheese or potato, garlic or onion, mint or basil, depending on where you are from on the island. Served with a simply marinara sauce and grated cheese.

What Wine Goes with Culurgiones di Ogliastra?

Sardinia has 2 red grapes that you might think you’ve never heard of, but you have. Cannonau and Carinena are the Italian names for Grenache and Carignan. For this dish, grab a bottle of Cannonau for red or Vernaccia for white.

Wine Pairing with
Culurgiones di Ogliastra
InternationalGrenacheOrange Wine
Photo from Taste Atlas

Fregola ai Fruitti di Mare from Sardinia

Fregola ai Fruitti di Mare is a seafood pasta dish from Sardinia. The fregola pasta are tiny almost like little pellets or large cous cous. The fregola are toasted releasing a nutty aroma. Squid, clams, mussels, and prawns are used. Some make it with tomatoes and some make it without.

Wine Pairing with Seafood Pasta

You must try one of the many Vermentino white wines from Sardinia. There are quite a few appellations for it. Island white with seafood, need I say more? Sancerre will complement the shell fish as well and may be easier to find. Carinena, or Carignan, is not a full bodied red so it won’t overpower the dish. There’s a ton of acidity in Carinena so it’s best in rosso versions when tomatoes are used.

Wine Pairing with
Fregola ai Fruitti di Mare

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6 thoughts on “27 Perfect Pasta & Wine Pairings: What Wine Goes with Pasta?”

  1. As someone who loves to cook pasta for guests but doesn’t drink wine, this is such a valuable resource!! Definitely consulting this list the next time I host a dinner party. Thank you for taking the time to write this up!

  2. Your list can also be used in reverse, i.e., what pasta goes with a certain wine?

    I experimented with this by using the browser’s “Find in page” option and searching for wine varietals. I usually prefer reds, and recently started appreciating Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. So I wondered if this was in your list, and now I’m really intrigued to find Bucatini all’Amatriciana at a restaurant or recipe.

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