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White Wines to Pair with Italian Food

According to people living la dolce vita, these are the best white wines to pair with Italian food.

By Mackenzie Z. KennedyPublished 7 years ago 3 min read

Italian food is a type of cuisine that most people assume pairs best with red wine — and in many cases, it does. Who can deny the delicious zing of a Sangiovese or a Merlot with a good plate of pasta with ragu? Moreover, who would be crazy enough to deny how awesome a glass of red looks when placed next to some mussels fra diavolo?

However, red wine pairings in Italian food is only half the story. There are quite a few dishes that are just not good with red wine, and for those platters, you need to know which white wines to pair with Italian food.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blancs are notoriously light, slightly smoky, and just a pinch tart — and that makes them great white wines to pair with Italian food.

Saucy foods love Sauvignon Blancs. More specifically, the smokiness is a good Sauvignon Blanc makes them great for oil-based sauces. Meanwhile, the acidity they offer tends to cut through overly creamy sauces like alfredos for a perfect blend of texture and taste.

As one would expect, light dry wines like this work phenomenally well with chicken, fish, and shellfish. So, you can also pair Sauvignon Blancs well with things like chicken parm or shrimp scampi.

Best Food Pairings:

  • Chicken Parmigiana
  • Pasta Alfredo
  • Shrimp Scampi
  • Raw Oysters

Sicilian Chardonnay

It's really hard to pin down Chardonnay wines, primarily because there's so much variety in taste. Sometimes they're sweetish, other times, they're sour. They sometimes taste light, other times heady. Despite all that, they are always robust wines with a lot of power to pack.

That deliciously strong punch of flavor and aroma makes Chardonnays one of the best white wines to pair with Italian food — especially stronger dishes. Considering we're talking Italian food, it only makes sense to choose a Sicilian Chardonnay.

Tomato-based sauces tend to soak up a Sicilian Chardonnay's richnesses beautifully, while creamier sauces with a cheesy kick get a lot of richness from the white wine's acidity.

Above all, though, pestos and heavily herbal foods tend to do best with this white wine. So, if you're enjoying antipasti or a pesto sauce, you're in luck, here.

Best Food Pairings:

  • Pesto
  • Pasta with Carbonara Sauce
  • Pasta with Alfredo Sauce
  • Shrimp Scampi


Sommes agree that Rieslings are a great option for people who want to enjoy savory or spicy food. That's why it's the go-to wine for Indian food, and why it's one of the highest rated wines for Italian food lovers as well.

Rieslings are most commonly known for pairing well with very light fare, and that makes them somewhat surprising white wines for an Italian meal. However, their crisp, refreshing taste makes them perfect for light pasta primavera dishes as well as baked trout.

Rich risottos, creamy stuffed shells, and quite a few plates also work wonders with the right Riesling, too. Overall, it's a great white wine for days when you want to revel in the cheesy goodness that is Italian food.

Best Food Pairings:

  • Risottos
  • Stuffed Shells
  • Chicken with Tuscan Herbs
  • Cheese Plates

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio is one of the few white wines out there that is good enough to pair with both red and white sauces alike. As a result, we'd say that this is one of the most versatile white wines to pair with Italian food. Pinot Grigios are heady, strong, and offer a smooth-yet-robust flavor.

Because they are rich yet versatile, you can successfully pair a Pinot Grigio with almost any pasta and win. So, if you love pastas this will be a great white wine pairing to consider.

But wait, there's more! Pinot Grigios also offer an amazing tart punch for charcuterie boards, shellfish dishes, and even Italian-style steaks.Best of all, this is a highly advised wine for white pizza pairings. So, this is also a pizza-friendly pairing, too.

As a result of their easy pairing, they tend to be good go-to wines for Italian food lovers.

Best Food Pairings:

  • Pasta Pomodoro
  • Shrimp Pasta in Cream Sauce
  • Pizza
  • Chicken Florentine

Extra Brut Champagne

Before you hate on me, I'd like to point out thatsparkling wines are still white wines, too. Champagne is a great choice for almost any kind of food, but how well it pairs all rests on the dryness or sweetness of the bubbly in question.

That's why we're citing Extra Brut Champagne as one of the better white wines to pair with Italian food. The dryness of Extra Brut pairs phenomenally well with seafood, chicken, and raw bar dishes — all of which are massively popular with Italian cuisine.

Additionally, most champagne also works well with steak and red sauced pizzas. So, this also tends to serve as the whitest "red" wine on a menu.

Best Food Pairings:

  • Raw Oysters
  • Creamy Pastas and Risottos
  • Butternut Squash Ravioli
  • Steak
  • Pizza

About the Creator

Mackenzie Z. Kennedy

Socialite and dating guru Mackenzie Kennedy knows all about the inner workings of people and society as a whole. It's not only her lifestyle - it's her passion. She lives in Hoboken with her pet dogs, Cassie and Callie.

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    Mackenzie Z. KennedyWritten by Mackenzie Z. Kennedy

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