Food and Wine Pairing
best wine to go with lasagna

The best wines with Lasagna

LASAGNA IS ARGUABLY ONE OF THE MOST VERSATILE COMFORT FOODS. WE’VE PUT TOGETHER A FOOD AND WINE PAIRING GUIDE FOR LASAGNE DISHES.

Of course, not all lasagne dishes are created equal, and for this reason we need to breakdown the wine pairing possibilities to the different lasagne recipes. By themselves lasagne sheets don’t have much taste at all, or the taste is very delicate. What counts for our food matching is looking at the other ingredients making up our dish and how they’re going to influence the taste of the dish. From there we can choose the ideal wine to pair our lasagne with.

 

MEAT LASAGNA

Typical recipes: Lasagne al forno,

Recipes made with either beef, lamb, duck and tomato sauce.

The 3 main things that are going to influence our match here are going to be the tomato sauce, the meat and of course the cheese.

Tomato sauce is normally a bit acidic and acidic dishes are ideally going to need a wine with a higher acidity and tannins that aren’t too high. This is very much what the parmesan will be requiring too.

The meat, especially the likes of beef, lamb and duck are going to call for red wines with a bit of a tannic structure.

So we’re going to go with wines with a medium tannic structure and a medium to high acidity.

Obviously this means we’re going to need red wine, as white wines don’t have tannin.

Sangiovese, is the ideal candidate, and it’s not a surprise it’s the local grape variety of Tuscany.

Meat lasagna to pair with wine

Best Wines

Entry Level:

Sangiovese IGT (Italy)

Rioja Crianza (Spain)

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (Italy)

 

Mid Level:

Cannonau di Sardegna (Italy)

Chianti Classico (Italy)

Morellino di Scansano (Italy)

 

Top Level:

Brunello di Montalcino

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (Italy)

 

Chicken or Fish Lasagna

Recipes made with fresh fish, smoked fish, chicken or turkey.

These dishes will typically not be made with tomato sauce, and will require white wine to match the dominant taste of cream, fish or cheese.

If however there is tomato sauce, we’re going to aim to match with very light reds.

We’re going to go for rather medium bodied whites, and should look for a bit of oak to match the creaminess of these recipes.

Chicken lasagna to pair with wine

BEST WINES FOR CHICKEN AND FISH LASAGNA (WITHOUT TOMATO SAUCE)

Entry Level:

Trebbiano IGT (Italy)

Chardonnay (Chile)

 

Mid Level:

Oak Aged Vermentino from Tuscany, Liguria or Sardinia (Italy)

Soave Classico (Italy)

Oak aged Californian Chardonnay (USA)

 

Top Level:

Oak aged Burgundy whites such as Pouilly-Fuissé, Ladoix, Rully, or even Chassagne Montrachet (France)

Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay (Australia)

 

BEST WINES FOR CHICKEN AND FISH LASAGNA (WITH TOMATO SAUCE)

Entry Level:

Sangiovese IGT (Italy)

Gamay de Touraine (France)

 

Mid Level:

Beaujolais-Villages (France)

Cinsault (Chile)

 

Top Level:

Fleurie (France)

 

Vegetarian Lasagna

Recipes made with spinach, mushrooms, courgette/ zucchini, peppers, eggplant/ aubergine.

Just like for fish and chicken lasagne, the recipe we choose will depend on whether or not we have tomato sauce.

Tomato sauce will typically call for red wine, but again, a light red as we don’t want to overpower the dish.

For those dishes that don’t have tomato sauce, we’re going to opt for white wine.

If your dish doesn’t have to much cheese and cream, we’re going to go for more unoaked white wine. For richer creamy dishes, especially if we have mushrooms in our dish, we will go for oaked wine.

Vegetarian lasagna to pair with wine

BEST WINE PAIRINGS FOR VEGETARIAN LASAGNA (WITHOUT TOMATO SAUCE)

Entry Level:

Chenin Blanc (South Africa)

Oaked Australian Chardonnay (Australia) especially for mushroom dishes

 

Mid Level:

Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand) Particularly with goats cheese lasagna

Gavi (Italy)

Argentinian Torrontes (Argentina) especially for the very green and low cheese recipes

 

Top Level:

White Rioja Reserva (Spain) Brilliant with the more creamy dishes, especially with mushrooms

Friuli Pinot Grigio (Italy) with lighter more delicate recipes

 

BEST WINE PAIRINGS FOR VEGETARIAN LASAGNA (WITH TOMATO SAUCE)

Entry Level:

Valpolicella (Italy) especially with rather creamy/ cheesy recipes

 

Mid Level:

Pinot Noir (New Zealand) Brilliant for recipes with mushrooms

Rioja Crianza (Spain) This will suit the dishes with not too much cream/ cheese

 

Top Level:

Brouilly (France) brilliant all rounder

Oregon Pinot Noir (USA) superbe with dishes that aren’t too creamy

 

Conclusion:

When matching a wine with your lasagne, you need to look at the other ingredients.

What are the ingredients that are going to dominate the taste? The tastes that are really going to be most present.

You then aim to match the wine intensity to that.

If there is tomato sauce, you go red wine… If there isn’t go for white.

The meatier your lasagne the more intense the red, if however it’s fish or poultry lasagne, go for lighter reds

Without tomato sauce, we go for whites.. The creamier the recipe the more we’re going to need oak, the lighter the dish, the lighter the white.

The other thing that’s very important in food matching as you’ve seen in my selections is the regionality match. The saying goes, to regional dish, go for regional wine.

It isn’t a coincidence that wines taste the way they do and dishes are made in this or that way in Italy. They were made to blend together.. to match.

So when you can.. go for Italian wine!

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3 Comments


  1. Steph

    2nd June 2017 at 11:56 am

    Hi, I’m not a great fan of red wine but I love meat lasagna with tomato sauce… What white wine do you recommend for this one?
    Thanks a lot, Steph

    Reply

    • Cyrus

      4th July 2017 at 5:30 pm

      Hi Steph
      thanks for the comment – although it’s a bit of a tough one. I would definitely recommend a white with a medium to full body, coupled with a good acidity, so it can live up to the tomato sauce, and the intensity of flavour in the dish. One option that could work well could be a Graves Blanc (from the Bordeaux region). I could also go towards natural wines, with skin contact fermentation, as we would come closer to to red wines (as we start getting tannins) but maybe that’s a bit too “out there”

      Hope that helps!
      Cyrus

      Reply

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