The Best Wines for Italian Food

Wine and Italian food is a famous pairing. The rich notes of red wine or the light notes of white often work to enhance the flavours of your meal. But what should you look out for when pairing wine with a dish? Ideal Wine Company has plenty of recommendations to perfectly match your wine to your meal. It is best to focus on the sauce, to get the best pairing and so we’ve kept this in mind in our list of the best reds and whites for every occasion.

Ideal Wine Company Wine and Italian Food
We review which wines work best with Italian food.

Cabernet Sauvignon – hearty and rich

The primary taste of Cabernet Sauvignon is blackcurrant, but other overtones include blackberry and mint. This hearty and rich red wine pairs best with tomato-based red sauces, complimenting the richness of the sauce. This pairs well with lasagna as it balances the richness of the dish.  Try a medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon to really balance your dish.

Sauvignon Blanc – crisp and acidic

Sauvignon Blanc is typically very light, with notes of grass and apple and a soft, smoky flavour. This acidic white wine tends to be crisp, making it a nice match for a cream based sauce, balancing the richness of the dish. This would work well with a Pasta Alfredo, as it would cut through the creaminess of the sauce.

Pinot Noir – light and versatile

This delicious and earthy French wine is one of the most well-known red wines to pair with Italian food. It is a light red wine, with flavours that include earth, vanilla and jam. Its versatility makes it work best with a tomato-based red sauce and it also pairs well with a variety of Italian food. Try this with a pesto dish.

Chardonnay – an adaptable white wine

Chardonnay can taste semi-sweet or sour, heady or light, depending where the grapes are grown and how it’s processed. Typically, the flavours include apple, tangerine, lemon, lime, melon and oak. Like most white wines, it is best paired with cream or oil-based sauces, such as a Carbonara. However, a Chardonnay can also work well with a light tomato-based red sauce.

Italian Chianti – strong and bold

Chianti is a red wine from Tuscany and is one of the most popular wines among Italians, as it perfectly complements a wide range of Italian food. It is perfectly suited for flavourful, well-seasoned sauces, such as Bolognese, due to the strong and bold flavours. It pairs best with tomato-based red sauces but also works well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Riesling – ideal for light sauces

Riesling is usually made to be a sweet wine, but can also create a dry wine. The taste of this wine is usually affected by where it is grown, as Californian Rieslings tend to be dry and have a melon taste, while German Rieslings are tarter and have a grapefruit flavour. Dry Riesling is an ideal wine for vegetarian dishes or light sauces, in addition to seafood and chicken. Often, it is best to pair a dry Riesling with simple fish, chicken or pasta dishes that have some acid to them. Particularly, this pairs well with a risotto, complimenting the delicate flavours without overpowering them. It is best to avoid pairing this wine with any strong sauces, especially those that are tomato-based.

Demand for Australian Fine Wine Rises in the Past Year

New export figures have shown the Ideal Wine Company that demand for Australian fine wine has increased in the past year.

The growth of the Australian fine wine industry

Australia has spent the last 200 years making wine. Its efforts are starting to pay off, as the land down has started to develop a reputation for making excellent wine in the past few decades. Now it produces vintages that rival those made by established powers in the fine wine trade such as France, Spain and Italy.

There are regions in the south of Australia that have the temperate climate and ideal soil types needed to produce first class vino. This has allowed areas such as Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and New South Wales to become famous for their ability to produce quality grapes such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir.

The AGWA Wine Export Approval Report March 2015

New export figures published in a report by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) show that demand for Australian fine wine has continued to surge. AGWA’S Wine Export Approval Report March 2015 shows that the land down under registered a 3.6% rise in volume and a 3.9% in the value of its wine exports between March 2014 and March 2015.

AGWA CEO Andreas Clarke was quoted by Drinks Business explaining the role fine wine played in this surge. Clarke explained that “some of the strongest growth is seen in the premium price segments.” The CEO went on to explain that “while the above A$7.50 price segment accounts for just 5% of total export volume, the value share is considerably higher at 27%.”

Demand for Australian fine wine has risen in Asia

Clarke also pointed out that a fair share of this growth can be attributed to the rising popularity of Australian fine wines in Asian markets such as China. The world’s largest continent accounted for more than half of exports of Australian wines priced above A$7.50 in the year to March 2015; a rise of 13% from the year before.

Andrew Caillard MW, who established Langton’s (Australia’s fine wine classification system) agreed with Clarke. He was quoted by another Drinks Business article saying that “Australia is really making its best wine now. We’re seeing iconic vintages year after year and Asia, especially China, is leading the demand for top-end wine.”

Find out why everybody loves Australian fine wine

Therefore demand for Australian fine wine is rising across the world, especially in Asia, because people are coming to realise what a fantastic product it really is. Find out why it’s rising in popularity by sampling a selection of Australian fine wines from the Ideal Wine Company.