Love lasagna? Here’s how to pair different wines with different varieties of lasagna

Lasagna, the great Italian comfort food, is always a crowd pleaser. The layers of pasta, meat and sauce always go down well. But did you know there are so many types of lasagne? Beyond the traditional tomato and béchamel variety, there is a wide range of varieties that include a creamy white sauce and a pesto-driven option. This week, Ideal Wine Company is showing you some of our favourite lasagnes and what wine to serve with them.

Ideal Wine Company wine and lasagna
Did you know there are so many types of lasagne? Here’s what wine you should be pairing with them…

Red lasagne– high acidity and dried fruit

Perhaps the most common type of lasagna, red lasagne is usually the first variety to come to mind. With its traditional tomato and béchamel sauce combination, it is stuffed with mozzarella, ricotta and meat. This hearty and warming meal works well with an equally intense red wine. Try opting for Aglianico, a black grape wine found in the South of Italy. This wine’s high tannin content complements this rich and fatty dish. In addition, the dried fruit flavours and the high acidity work perfectly to cut through the slightly sweet tanginess of the hearty tomato sauce.

White lasagne– look for leanness

If you’re looking for something a bit different with your lasagna, a white lasagna, or lasagne blanca, is a great alternative. Rather than using the traditional bolognaise tomato sauce, a white lasagne consists of peas, mushrooms, Italian sausage and a creamy white sauce. With this type of dish, you should be pairing it with a wine like Arneis. This Piedmontese grape is a zingy and lean white wine that acts like a herb. When served with béchamel or other creamy white sauces, it infuses the dish with earthy and unmistakable green notes. With the amount of heavy creaminess in this dish, the wine’s lean and olive driven qualities are sure to cleanse your palette.

Pesto lasagne– opt for rich and white

This pesto-based alternative of traditional lasagne combines parmesan cheese, basil, pine nuts and olive oil. The result is a dish that is full of flavour and aroma. If you’re serving this dish with wine, you can’t go wrong with a Vermentino. This equally lean and green option is dry, a touch oily and just bitter enough to provide the perfect partner to the fragrant lasagna. This Italian white provides the perfect aromatic hints of herby green to complement the pesto.

Sangiovese – the universal choice to pair with lasagne

If you’re eating any type of lasagna, Sangiovese is perfect. This really is a one-bottle-suits-all type of wine. In almost all cases, the tart and savoury wine drinks well with the intensity of lasagna. This is because the high acid and rustic flavours you can expect in Sangiovese will cut through the creamy fat and tangy tomato at the same time.

This really is the perfect choice for any type of lasagne. It’s always worth having a bottle to hand next time you make any type of lasagna!

No matter what your favourite type of lasagne is, you’ll easily be able to find the perfect wine match. Take a good look at what flavours and textures the sauce is bringing. A good rule to follow is to pair creamy sauces with lean wines and lean sauces with richer offerings. With so many lasagnas to try – and wines to pair them with- you’ll find the perfect choice for you.

How to Pair Your Wine with Thai Food

Thai food perfectly balances many flavours. Sweet, sour, salty and spicy all work together in perfect harmony. While this creates delicious food, it can make it harder to find a wine that perfectly matches all of these different notes. Looking for wines that pair with such intricate food is difficult, balancing the bitter and the aromatic. Here are Ideal Wine Company’s top choices to serve with Thai food.

Ideal Wine Company wine and Thai food
Thai food perfectly balances many flavours, here are Ideal Wine Company’s top choices to serve with Thai food.

Pad Thai and Riesling – sweet and sour

Pad Thai’s sweet and sour noodles bring together a wide range of flavours harmoniously. To perfectly match this, an off-dry Riesling brings a welcome balance. With its dynamic tropical fruity flavours, there is a perfect amount of sweetness and acidity to cut through the spices of the dish.

Look for a Riesling that features jasmine in its bouquet. Picking up on the aromatic notes of the food, jasmine will add an interesting note.

Thai fresh rolls and Torrontés – fresh and lean

These delicious rolls are known for their fresh, crisp and crunchy vegetables rolled together. Due to the simplicity of this healthy snack, as well as the lack of fat, try pairing this dish with something a bit different. A Torrontés brings a sweet smell that works well with the freshness of the vegetables. However, the taste is drier than expected. The lean lightness of this wine brings out the flavour in this healthy choice.

Tom Yum soup and Grenache Blanc – complementing spiciness

A complex, spicy dish such as Tom Yum soup incorporates a lot of flavours and spices. With so much going on, finding a perfect match to incorporate and enhance these flavours presents a challenge. Try serving your soup with a Grenache Blanc. The similar flavour profiles of both dishes help to bring a consistency between wine and food that complements. Both contain flavours of lemongrass, kaffir limes and galangal. An unoaked version of the wine, slightly chilled, makes a perfect match for this delicious Thai dish.

Red/green curry and Gewürztraminer – focus on fragrance

These classic Thai dishes are among the most popular choices for Thai food. Through these two curries are different, they traditionally have the same base of coconut milk, with the colours of the chillies being the key separator. This changes the spice of the dishes, while the general fragrance remains the same across the two dishes. A top tip for matching Thai food and wine is to focus on the fragrance. A Gewürztraminer is perfect for fragrant food. This aromatic grape has an inherently sweet flavour and lower acidity, the lightness of this wine is sure to handle the spices of your curry.

Thai spring rolls and sparkling Rosé – balance your bitterness with sweet

Spring rolls make a great starter for a Thai feast. These light and crispy rolls contain a delicious bitter vegetable filling and can be served with a slightly salty sauce. To brighten up and bring balance to this dish, try opting for a sparkling Rosé wine. This will impart a good amount of fruity sweetness onto your palate, which can cleanse your palate between bites. The bubbles create a refreshing and delicate sip that uplift your spring rolls to new levels.

With Thai food, the fragrance is key. This aromatic mix can help you decide what wine works well, so focus on this. As a careful blend of these flavours that emphasizes the balance of ingredients, look for a wine that harmoniously works with the whole dish rather than single flavours.

Matching Your Christmas Starter to Your Wine

Christmas dinner is undoubtedly one of the most important meals of the year. While you may have decided what wine to serve alongside your classic turkey dinner, starters offer more variety and therefore more trouble. With so many options to choose from, it can be a bit daunting to find a wine to match. At Ideal Wine Company, we’ve compiled a list of perfect starter and wine combinations that’ll earn their place at the Christmas table.

Ideal Wine Company Christmas starters and wine
Here’s how to match your Christmas starter to your wine.

Smoked salmon and Riesling

A classic choice for a Christmas starter, this option pairs well with a light crisp white wine. Try pairing with a dry Riesling. Its vivid green apple flavour works especially well with the fish. The sweetness of a Riesling highlights the smoky taste. Acting as a palate cleanser between bites, the natural acidity of the wine counterbalances the fat content of the fish. A good tip to remember when buying a Riesling for smoked salmon is to avoid sweeter or medium dry varieties. The smoky flavour can overwhelm these options, while a dry Riesling softens and rounds these flavours perfectly.

Roasted pumpkin soup and Chardonnay

A hearty soup is a real crowd-pleasing favourite. Taking the flavours of the season, this creamy starter offers strong and rich flavours. With pumpkin soup, try offsetting this velvety starter with an oak-aged Chardonnay. A medium-bodied option should provide a bright acidity to contrast the soup. The layered light fruit and toast character of the wine provides a refreshing note. This stops the creaminess of the soup from becoming overwhelming, without overpowering it. A perfect pairing for a festive feast.

Grand Marnier paté and rosé

Featuring pork, duck and chicken liver and finished with an orange liqueur and orange slices, this paté packs a lot of flavour. With so much going on, it can be difficult to pair this wine with one specific wine. For this reason, we suggest going with an option that combines elements to fit the variety of flavours. We recommend trying this paté with a rosé wine. Look for a medium bodied variety that has the refreshing texture of a white wine, while also bringing a somewhat deep flavour that is more typically found in a red. This hybrid wine perfectly matches the rustic and hearty offering of paté.

Beef carpaccio and champagne

At Christmas, don’t be afraid to try something a bit different for your starter. A fresh tasting salad made from beef carpaccio is a perfect solution if you’re looking to make a change. With its slightly salty taste and leafy greens, this is a light option. For this reason, it’s best not to choose too strong a wine. Try a Champagne or similar sparkling wine, as these pair surprisingly well with raw beef. Its natural sweetness perfectly brings the entire dish together. What is Christmas without a glass of Champagne?

There are plenty of starters you can bring to your table this Christmas, with an endless variety of wines to pair them with. We recommend choosing lighter options for the first course, to bring a subtlety to a traditional rich meal.