LASAGNA IS ARGUABLY ONE OF THE MOST VERSATILE COMFORT FOODS; HERE IS OUR 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.
1- MEAT LASAGNA
Typical recipes: Lasagne al forno, Beef Lasagna, Meat Lasagna.
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. Also, you’ll need 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.
Sangiovese IGT especially from Tuscany (Italy)
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (Italy)
Cannonau di Sardegna (Italy)
Chianti Classico (Italy)
Morellino di Scansano (Italy)
Brunello di Montalcino (Italy)
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (Italy)
2- 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.
BEST WINES FOR CHICKEN AND FISH LASAGNA (WITHOUT TOMATO SAUCE)
Trebbiano IGT (Italy)
Oak Aged Vermentino from Tuscany, Liguria or Sardinia (Italy)
Soave Classico (Italy)
Oak aged Californian Chardonnay (USA)
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)
Sangiovese IGT (Italy)
Gamay de Touraine (France)
3- 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.
BEST WINE PAIRINGS FOR VEGETARIAN LASAGNA (WITHOUT TOMATO SAUCE)
Chenin Blanc (South Africa)
Oaked Australian Chardonnay (Australia) especially for mushroom dishes
Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand) Particularly with goats cheese lasagna
Argentinian Torrontes (Argentina) especially for the very green and low cheese recipes
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)
Valpolicella (Italy) especially with rather creamy/ cheesy recipes
Pinot Noir (New Zealand) Brilliant for recipes with mushrooms
Rioja Crianza (Spain) This will suit the dishes with not too much cream/ cheese
Brouilly (France) brilliant all rounder
Oregon Pinot Noir (USA) superbe with dishes that aren’t too creamy
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!
3 thoughts on “The best wines with Lasagna”
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
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!
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