Our Recommended Wine Pairings for Every Pasta Dish

Hey! So have you ordered the pasta dish of your dreams? All you need now is to pair it with a fabulous wine.

But which to choose? There are soooo many different wines to choose from. And there’s no way you’re willing to butcher a restaurant-quality pasta dish by pairing it with a wine that doesn’t zing. Experience ruined.

If only there was a cheat sheet of wines, made for pasta lovers?! Well now there is.

HUGE CAVEAT: Wine pairings are very subjective, so take this guide as ‘our opinion’.


And quick interlude for our Pasta By Post customers who have ordered from our menu, here are our tried and tested wine pairings to compliment each:

Netflix and Gnocchi: Zinfandel

All-The-Mushrooms Tortelloni: Riesling

Spinach and Ricotta Tortelloni: Sangiovese 

Build Your Own Lasagne: Cabernet Sauvignon 

The Ultimate Carbonara: Merlot 

The Devil’s Casarecce: Shiraz

Cacio e Pepe Tonarelli: Chardonnay


Without further ado, let's take a look at some of the most common types of wines – ones highlighted in bold are in my top 10 for pasta-wine combos, which we’ll explore further. 

Full-bodied reds

Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, (Merlot), Malbec

Medium-bodied reds

Merlot, Barbera, (Pinot Noir), Gamay Sangiovese, Mencia

Light-bodied reds

Pinot noir, Gamay, Blaufränkisch, Zinfandel


Grenache, Sangiovese, Mourvedre

Full-bodied whites

Oaked chardonnay, Ribolla, Gialla

Medium-bodied white

Pinot Grigio, Grenache Blanc, Chardonnay Verdicchio

Light-bodied whites

Sauvignon Blanc, Zelen, Pinela, Pinot Grigio, Riesling Italico

Aromatic whites

Moscato, Gewurztraminer, Riesling

Very simply, the term ‘body’ refers to the feel in your mouth - how heavy or viscous the wine is.

Full-bodied wines, being more concentrated, feel heavier in your mouth. Generally speaking, you should pair ‘weight with weight’ and match the acidity of the wine to the food. This is why red wines tend to be paired with meaty dishes and white wines with oily, fatty and seafood dishes. 

Now we know about the types of wines, let’s see which are recommended for different types of pasta dishes. We’ve found these pasta sauce and wine combinations work amazingly well:

  • Seafood - Medium-bodied white wines
  • Rich, meaty (eg. Bolognese) - Medium-bodied red wines
  • Smoother sauces (e.g. Pesto) - Medium-bodied white and medium-bodied red
  • Hearty vegetables - Medium and light-bodied white wine
  • Baked dishes (eg. Lasagne) - Medium-bodied red wines
  • Stews, broths - Medium-bodied white and light-bodied red wine
  • Light butter (eg. Filled pasta with a light butter sauce) - Light-bodied white
  • Cream or tomato (eg. Arrabbiata, Carbonara) - Medium-bodied red wines
  • Salads and chunky sauces - Rosé
  • Soups - Medium-bodied white and light-bodied red wines

And matching the other way, here are the kinds of sauce you can pair with each type of wine, now looking at the wine varieties more specifically:

  • Fruity Merlot - cream or tomato sauces
  • Full-bodied Merlot - hearty vegetables, baked dishes and rich, meaty sauces
  • Light-bodied Merlot - pancetta, bacon and mushroom 
  • Pinot Noir - cream or tomato sauces with basil and mushroom. And romantic dinners!
  • Fruity Pinot Noir - cream or tomato sauces
  • Zinfandel - rich, meaty, barbecue and bold curry flavours. Hearty vegetables and baked dishes
  • Light bodied Zinfandel - cream or tomato sauces
  • Malbec - barbecue, turkey, pork, dry cheese, blue cheese, spicy and sweet
  • Cabernet sauvignon - steak, heavy flavour dishes and thick tomato-based sauces
  • Shiraz/Syrah - roasted, grilled and smoked meats
  • Chardonnay - cream, tomato, mushroom or cheese based sauces, vegetarian lasagna and green pesto
  • Oaked Chardonnay - cream or tomato
  • Riesling - stuffed mushroom pasta or cream-based and spicy sauces
  • Sangiovese - cream or tomato sauces, lasagne, spaghetti bolognese, pesto and garlic flavours

Found a superstar pasta and wine pairing you’ve enjoyed yourself? Let us know in the comments below.