What Wine Goes With Spaghetti

I’m a big fan of pasta, with spaghetti ranking as one of my all-time favorite dishes. There’s an undeniable satisfaction that comes from a plate of perfectly cooked pasta draped in a rich tomato sauce. …

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I’m a big fan of pasta, with spaghetti ranking as one of my all-time favorite dishes. There’s an undeniable satisfaction that comes from a plate of perfectly cooked pasta draped in a rich tomato sauce. And the cherry on top? Finding the perfect wine to match with spaghetti that elevates the entire meal. In this piece, I’ll share my personal insights and tips for selecting the best wine to go alongside spaghetti.

Red or White: Choosing the Right Wine

When it comes to pairing wine with spaghetti, the first decision you need to make is whether to go with a red or white wine. Both options can work well, depending on the ingredients and flavors in your spaghetti dish. Let’s explore the possibilities:

Red Wine Pairings

If your spaghetti sauce is rich and full-bodied, such as a classic tomato-based marinara with meatballs or a Bolognese sauce, red wine is a fantastic choice. The acidity and tannins in red wine help cut through the richness of the sauce and enhance the flavors.

For a traditional Italian twist, try pairing your spaghetti with a Chianti. Chianti is a medium-bodied red wine from Tuscany, Italy, known for its bright acidity and flavors of tart cherry and herbs. The fruity and earthy notes of Chianti complement the flavors of the tomato sauce beautifully.

If you prefer a bolder red wine, a Sangiovese or a Cabernet Sauvignon can be excellent choices. Sangiovese, the grape used in Chianti, offers a similar flavor profile but with a bit more intensity. Cabernet Sauvignon, on the other hand, brings robust fruit flavors and firm tannins that pair well with meaty spaghetti sauces.

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White Wine Pairings

While red wines are often the go-to choice for pasta dishes, there are certain spaghetti recipes that call for a white wine pairing. If your spaghetti sauce is lighter and more delicate, such as a garlic and olive oil-based Aglio e Olio or a creamy Alfredo sauce, white wine can enhance the flavors without overpowering them.

A classic Italian white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc can be a refreshing complement to lighter spaghetti dishes. Pinot Grigio offers crisp acidity and flavors of citrus and pear, while Sauvignon Blanc brings zesty aromas of tropical fruits and herbs.

For those who enjoy a touch of sweetness, a Riesling or a Gewürztraminer can be great choices. These aromatic white wines balance the richness of creamy sauces and add a lovely fruitiness to the overall pairing.

Experiment and Find Your Perfect Pairing

Ultimately, the best wine pairing for spaghetti is a matter of personal taste. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different combinations to discover what works best for you. Remember, wine and food pairing is as much about enjoyment as it is about following rules.

When experimenting, take note of the flavors in your spaghetti sauce and the characteristics of the wine you’re tasting. Pay attention to how they interact and whether they enhance or detract from each other. This exploration can be a fun and educational journey that deepens your appreciation for both wine and pasta.


When it comes to pairing wine with spaghetti, the options are plentiful. Whether you prefer a bold red or a crisp white, there’s a wine out there that can enhance your dining experience. The key is to consider the flavors in your spaghetti sauce and find a wine that complements and elevates them. So pour yourself a glass, twirl that fork, and savor the delicious harmony of wine and spaghetti.

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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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