Lasagna is one of those dishes that can be made in several unique styles. You could prepare one with heavier meats like beef, lighter ones like chicken or fish, herby ones like pesto, as well as vegetarian ones with varying combinations of vegetables. The basic combination of cheese, pasta sauce, and pasta can evolve to accommodate a wide range of ingredients. But if you’re a wine enthusiast, this can sometimes make it tricky to pick a drink that won’t clash with the rich flavors of your pasta. On the other hand, picking the perfect wine to compliment the dish will enhance the taste of both, and make for a much more satisfying meal. In this article, we’ll teach you how to do exactly that and pick the perfect drink for every type of lasagna, be it meaty, pesto, white, or something else.
Pairing Wine with Meaty Lasagnas
Lasagnas with meat, especially heavier meats like beef are generally made from red sauce, which needs a red wine to go with it. This is because ingredients like red sauce, meat, and cheese are all acidic, and thus need a wine with even more acidity to compliment it. Italian reds are an especially popular choice to drink with lasagna, and many recommendations in this article come from brands native to the country.
For a chicken or beef-based lasagna with red sauce, wines made from Sangiovese are perhaps the most ideal partner. Sangiovese is a notoriously popular Italian grape that is used in a wide variety of exquisite wines. Its high acidity and tannic structure can conquer the creamiest, reddest of sauces. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Italian Chianti are other popular choices to consider. All three wines are fairly versatile and can be had with both red and white sauces. Chicken and fish pasta-plates require less acidic wines compared to beefy lasagne, so a wine with less body or structure should also suffice as long as it is red.
Wine with Creamier Lasagna
Creamier pastas are easier to pair with, since a light red or white wine both do nicely. Wines stored in oak containers, like Chardonnay, work especially well with creamy flavors. Oaked wines tend to have a fuller body and contain hints of vanilla along with other spices. Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and other full-bodied wines are also great options. The same rules apply for white-sauce-pastas with fish.
Wines for Vegetable Pastas
Vegetable pastas, ones with oil-based sauces and ingredients like eggplant, onions, garlic, broccoli, and others go well with white wines, especially lighter-bodied ones. White wines don’t contain any tannin and are thus less acidic than red wines. However, in white creamy or vegetable pastas, the wine doesn’t have too many competing flavors that need overpowering. If your vegetable pasta is made with red sauce go for a red wine like Zinfandel or a Barbera.
If you’re looking for some safe choices that go with all sorts of lasagne, go with a Prosecco or Rosé wines. Both of these are dry enough to compliment the cheese and thicker textures of pasta. But otherwise, the above guide is a useful tool to navigate the different wines that go with all styles of lasagna. Pastas with thick sauces and red meats need fuller-bodied red wines, while creamier and vegetable pastas can do with white wines. The rule is that the color of the sauce generally matches the color of the wine, and as long as you remember this, it should be hard to go wrong.