What Wine Goes With Pesto Pasta

When it comes to pairing wine with pesto pasta, I think it’s important to consider the bold and herbal flavors of the pesto sauce. As an avid wine enthusiast, I have always found this to …

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When it comes to pairing wine with pesto pasta, I think it’s important to consider the bold and herbal flavors of the pesto sauce. As an avid wine enthusiast, I have always found this to be an exciting pairing to explore. Pesto, with its vibrant combination of basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese, presents a delicious challenge for finding the perfect wine companion.

The Best Wine Pairings for Pesto Pasta

After experimenting with various wine options, I’ve found that a few specific types tend to complement the flavors of pesto pasta exceptionally well. One standout choice is a crisp and herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc. The fresh acidity of this white wine cuts through the richness of the pesto and brings out the herbal notes in the dish. Another fantastic option is a light, fruity Pinot Grigio. Its delicate flavors harmonize beautifully with the basil and garlic in the pesto.

If you’re more inclined towards red wines, a young and vibrant Chianti can be a delightful match. The acidity and tart cherry notes in this Italian red wine provide a lovely contrast to the creamy texture of the pesto, making for a memorable dining experience.

Considerations for Pairing

When selecting a wine to pair with pesto pasta, it’s essential to take into account the intensity of the pesto sauce. For a lighter and more subtly flavored pesto, a delicate white wine like a Vermentino or a Soave can offer a seamless pairing. On the other hand, if the pesto is particularly bold and robust, a more full-bodied white wine such as a Viognier or even a light-bodied red like a Gamay could stand up to the assertive flavors of the dish.

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Exploring Regional Pairings

For those who appreciate exploring regional pairings, a classic Ligurian pesto – the birthplace of pesto – could be wonderfully enjoyed with a crisp Ligurian white wine like a Vermentino or a Cinque Terre wine. The local wines of a region often have an innate harmony with the traditional dishes of the area, and this is certainly the case with pesto pasta and Ligurian whites.


In conclusion, the world of wine offers a wealth of options when it comes to choosing the perfect accompaniment for pesto pasta. Whether you lean towards a bright and zesty white or opt for a lively red, the key is to find a wine that enhances the flavors of the pesto while providing a delightful contrast. With a bit of experimentation and a willingness to explore different varietals, you’re sure to find a wine that elevates your pesto pasta experience to new heights.

John has been a hobbyist winemaker for several years, with a few friends who are winery owners. He writes mostly about winemaking topics for newer home vintners.
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