Best Wine to Pair With Lasagna

Lasagna is a hearty comfort food and best served with a hearty wine. It originates from Italy so first wines that come to mind are Italian Sangiovese based Chianti, and Brunello. Many wines will pair well with this rustic favourite especially with a red meat sauce layered in between layers of noodles and cheese –  the options are plentiful. 

The first rule for a pairing is choosing a wine that is full bodied with intense flavours and spices to compliment the intensity and hearty flavours of the lasagna. With meat you can choose a wine with tannins such as Barolo or Cabernet Sauvignon as the protein will temper the tannins. However, if the tannins are too firm or grippy they could overwhelm the dish, so be sure to make sure the meat sauce is reduced like a Bolognese, or it contains wild mushrooms to add to the intensity so that it can stand up to the tannic tension.

Top Wines for Tomato Based Lasagna

  • Italian Sangiovese
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot

Lasagna is a fan favourite with so many wine pairing options. Merlot is a great option with its smooth texture and dark plum & blackberry flavours it will match the heartiness of the dish. Lasagna with a spicier tomato sauce will work well with a Syrah or Zinfandel with dark fruit flavours and a peppery spice profile, it will compliment the herbs and spiciness of the dish. A lighter choice would be Pinot Noir and Gamay as they will not overpower a less spicy and less rich lasagna but will highlight mushrooms and herbs with its savouriness. The higher acidity and delicate fruit flavours of a Pinot Noir and Gamay will be able to stand up to a hearty vegetarian or meat tomato sauce. A sweeter wine such as Amarone which is made from super concentrated dried grapes will be a lovely compliment to a rich and sweet marinara tomato sauce, preferably with meat or hearty vegetables like eggplant. 

If you are making a cream based white sauce Lasagna, then you open the door to white and rose wines. You will want to look for wines with crisp acidity to cut through the richness of the various cheeses, bechamel sauce and cream base in the lasagna. Sauvignon Blanc and Chablis style unoaked Chardonnay will be a great compliment to the cheese, herbs and cream with their delicate citrus and mineral profile. Pinot Gris and Viognier have a lemon curd and orchard fruit profile which will offer a welcome contrast to rich bechamel and cheesy sauce but will compliment any vegetables and fresh herbs in the cream sauce. Enjoy!

Katherine McEachnie, dipWSET

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