Lasagna pairs best with acidic and fruity red wines like Chianti Classico, Dolcetto, Barbera, Nero d’Avola, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. The layers of cheese, meat, vegetables and lasagna noodles require a red wine with enough flavour to hold up to this classic dish. Meanwhile, the tomato sauce requires acidity, as wines that are all tannin will taste like tin against the tartness of the tomato sauce.
Our wine recommendations apply to the classic version of Lasagna. Modern Lasagna recopies have gotten creative and might be made with turkey, lamb, pork, pumpkin, pesto cause, eggs, goat cheese, or other variants like vegetarian would change up these recommendations.
Best Wine with Lasagna
|Red Wine||Chianti Classico (DOCG)||Lasagna|
|Red Wine||Barbera (DOC)||Lasagna|
|Red Wine||Dolcetto (DOC)||Lasagna|
|Red Wine||Nero d'Avola||Lasagna|
|Red Wine||Merlot - Medium Bodied||Lasagna|
|White Wine||Sauvignon Blanc||Vegetarian Lasagna|
|Red Wine||Valpolicella Classico / Rosso||Lasagna|
|Red Wine||Chianti DOCG||Lasagna|
|Red Wine||Rosso Conero DOC||Lasagna|
|Red Wine||Cabernet Franc||Vegetarian Lasagna|
|Red Wine||Montefalco Rosso||Lasagna|
|Red Wine||Baco Noir||Lasagna|
|White Wine||Pinot Grigio||Lasagna|
Chianti Classico & Lasagna Pairing
Chianti Classico is the most famous Italian red wine on the market. Tart, earthy, herbal, and fruity, Chianti tastes like you’d expect Italy to taste like. The bright red and black cherry flavours offer a welcome contrast against the dense flavours of Lasagna. Meanwhile, the acidity of the wine unclogs your taste buds making each bite taste fresh. Lasagna is a dish that is so easy to overindulge with, and that’s because the first two or three bites are delicious. However, without an acidic beverage, your taste buds get clogged with carbohydrates and fat. Thus, each bite gets dimmer in flavour, and we desperately shove more Lasagna in our mouths to try and recapture those first delicious bites.
With Chianti Classico, overindulging is not an issue as the acidity cleans your palate, making every bite taste like that first initial bite. Thus you eat less as you are satisfied earlier. I wish I knew this tip in my college years, as I am guilty of eating many 5-pound frozen Lasagnas and then taking a long nap afterwards when I should have been studying.
While fruity, Chianti Classico also has an earthy, smoky and herbal quality that complements the chopped garlic, onions, mushrooms, meat, bell peppers and herbs in your Lasagna. I specifically say Chianti Classico for this pairing, as Chianti Classico does have a different meaning than just ‘Chianti.’
What’s the difference between Chianti Classico and Chianti
Chianti Classico refers to the classic region where Chianti was first produced. As Chianti grew in popularity, the borders expanded, and anything beyond this original region is referred to as Chianti.
Chianti Classico must contain 80% Sangiovese, while Chianti must contain at least 70% Sangiovese. While some Chianti’s and Chianti Classico’s could be 100% Sangiovese, not all Chianti’s are made the same. Plus, if you’re new to wine, reading the label of a wine bottle is challenging. Thus, I often suggest just Chianti Classico as it’s more likely to have the most Sangiovese content if you’re making a blind buy. When you introduce other grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, you change the tart flavours of Sangiovese significantly, making it less delicious with Lasagna.
You can quickly identify Chianti Classico by the black rooster label on the stem of the wine bottle.
Italian Barbera & Lasagna Pairing
Barbera is a red wine grape that is also naturally acidic and low in tannin. You’ll see it grown in British Columbia, Argentina, Australia and California, however, Italy is where it’s most famous. Barbera hails from the Piedmont region, and you’ll see it referred to as Barbera d’Alba, which is fuller-bodied or Barbera d’Asti, which is lighter-bodied and more acidic (but not by much). You may also spot Barbera del Monferrato, a lean, acidic style of Barbera featuring fresh red fruit flavours.
Italian Barbera from the three regions mentioned above will taste like black and red cherry and are meant to be drank fresh. You’ll also get rustic flavours of herbs, earth, minerals and spice, but these notes are faint and won’t be noticed unless pointed out or if you are sensitive to such flavours. Barbera’s contrasting fruit flavours offer welcoming refreshing flavours against the dense and layered flavours of your Lasagna. Meanwhile, the rustic charm of complements the tangy and herbal tomato sauce.
Barbera from other regions are impossible to predict as they might not be made in this classic Italian style. Barbera from other regions may also be blended with other grapes, which changes how it tastes. Barbera can also be made in a style where it is meant to be aged, and these bottles will often be quite expensive. Thus, with Lasagna, start simple, and choose a Barbera d’Alba or Barbera d’Asti at a budget-friendly price.
Pinot Noir & Lasagna Pairing
Pinot Noir is a light and fruity red wine with refreshing flavours of cherry and strawberry. While it sometimes aged in Oak, Pinot Noir will remain acidic enough to not clash with the tomato sauce in your Lasagna. You’ll also get a funky earthiness with Pinot Noir that makes it lovely with Lasagna containing mushrooms.
Pinot Noir is an elegant red wine, and you pay for that sophistication and gracefulness. It is not cheap to make excellent Pinot Noir, and if you find a bottle that is under $20, I doubt it will win you over with its dashing charm. For Pinot Noir, I typically buy bottles $35 and up from California, New Zealand, or France, as once you get a taste of what Pinot Noir should taste like, you can never go back to the poorly made bottles.
Zinfandel & Lasagna Pairing
Zinfandel is a red wine that is popular in California, which is fruity, bold and smoky. Zinfandel often is compared to BBQ sauce as it has a sweet and smokiness (although it’s not a sugary red wine). When pairing Zinfandel with Lasagna, go for a mid-ranged to inexpensive Zinfandel. Expensive Zinfandels will be high in alcohol and syrupy and pair better with fatty cuts of beef slathered in bbq sauce. Expensive Zinfandel may also see some heavy oak ageing which will make the tannin more fierce and risking it to clash with the tomato sauce.
A starter Zinfandel, on the other hand, will offer just enough fruit to offer contrasting refreshment against the layers of beef, noodles and tomato sauce. Raspberry, cherry and blackberry all stain your tongue with Zinfandel. Meanwhile, the smoky flavours of Zinfandel creep in and complement the earthy vegetables and baked cheese flavours. Finally, you’ll also get hints of black pepper, which blend in nicely with the beef in your Lasagna.
If you want to stick to Italian red wines, try Primitivo, which is related to the Zinfandel grape. Primitivo is acidic like Zinfandel, however, the bold fruit flavours are tuned down, while the spice and rustic flavours are more pronounced.
Does White Wine Go With Lasagna?
White wine will go well with Lasagna, but it will not complement the savoury flavours of Lasagna. Thus, with white wine, you are offering contrasting and refreshing flavours of fruit. Pinot Grigio goes well with Lasagna as it’s easy to find on a wine list by the glass (Every Italian restaurant that serves wine should offer it), and it’s a crowd-pleaser.
Italian Pinot Grigio is a light and crisp white wine featuring subtle flavours of peach, pear, apple and minerals. High in acidity, Pinot Grigio tastes dry. The acidity also lifts up the individual flavours tossed into your Lasagna, so no ingredient goes unnoticed.
Rosé and Sparkling Wines like Prosecco are also recommended with Lasagna. Both styles of wine should be either dry if possible as Lasagna does not require sweetness (the tomato sauce is already sweet enough). Bubbly white wines are acidic, so they help keep your palate cleansed, while Rosé is often tart but dry, allowing it to cut through the gooey cheese and bring out the delicious flavours in your Lasagna that you never noticed before.