When it comes to dining out, whether at the top fine dining establishment in Boston or your favorite neighborhood North End restaurant – Understanding wine and pairing wine with your meal is imperative. Here at Lo Conte’s Restaurant, we appreciate this delicate pairing and the misconceptions often accompanying it. Of course, our staff is always here to recommend and assist. However, here, we will cover a few basics to help you navigate the wine and food pairing world.
Wine and Italian food have a long-standing and delicious relationship. Proper wine pairing often elevates a dish's flavors and brings out the best in both the food and the wine. Here are some guidelines for pairing wine with Italian food.
Pasta dishes are a staple in Italian cuisine, and the key to pairing wine with them is to match the weight and texture of the wine with the dish. For example, light-bodied white wines like Pinot Grigio or Vermentino pair well with delicate pasta dishes like seafood linguine or spaghetti with olive oil and garlic. Full-bodied red wines like Chianti or Brunello di Montalcino pair well with heartier pasta dishes like spaghetti bolognese or lasagna.
Pizza is another popular Italian offering, and the key to pairing wine with it is to match the acidity and intensity of the wine with the toppings. For example, a Margherita pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil pairs well with a light-bodied red wine like Barbera d’Asti. A meat lover’s pizza with pepperoni, sausage, and bacon pairs well with a full-bodied red wine like Chianti Classico or Sangiovese.
Risotto is a creamy rice dish that pairs well with medium-bodied white wines like Pinot Bianco or Soave. The wine should have enough acidity to cut through the dish’s richness and complement the ingredients’ flavors.
Neighborhood restaurant or fine dining, Italian cuisine has a lot of seafood dishes! And the key to pairing wine with seafood is to match the weight and flavor of the wine with the fish. For example, a light-bodied white wine like Vermentino or Trebbiano pairs well with grilled or fried fish, while a full-bodied white wine like Chardonnay pairs well with seafood pasta dishes.
Another Italian staple is the wide variety of cheeses, and the key to pairing wine with them is to match the intensity and flavor of the cheese with the wine. For example, a full-bodied red wine like Barolo or Amarone pairs well with aged Parmesan cheese, while a medium-bodied white wine like Verdicchio or Gavi pairs well with fresh mozzarella cheese.
Fine Dining in Boston | Lo Conte's Restaurant
Wine pairing with authentic Italian cuisine is all about balance and finding the right match for the flavors and textures of the dish. Following these guidelines, you can create a memorable dining experience that will delight your taste buds and impress your guests.