Wine Tips & Tricks

The Best Wine to Pair with Lasagna

Who wants some lasagna? That’s a silly question. The answer, of course, is everyone. Everyone wants lasagna. You. Me. That guy on the bus over there. Few can resist this holy trinity of cheese, sauce, and pasta. It may be time-consuming to make, but the effort is what makes it feel like home and worth sharing with others.

So what’s the best wine to pair with a piece of Italian soul food?

Best Wine to Pair with Lasagna

Best Answer: Sangiovese (like one made into a Chianti Classico style).

Why? Because tart and savory Sangiovese drinks well with the intensity of lasagna. This is because the high acid and rustic flavor profile cuts through creamy fat and tarantellos with tomato at the same time. Heck, if you want to go the non-traditional route (Tex-Mex Lasagna anyone?), Sangio is up for the challenge.

Sangiovese is delicious, ubiquitous (it’s Italy’s top grape), and drinks well with every style of lasagna. We both could be talking about lasagna, but we might be talking about two different things. Maybe in your head, it’s red sauce all the way, stuffed with ricotta, sausage, and eggs like Nonna made. Maybe it’s thick with Béchamel and Bolognese, an oozing testament of indulgence, best enjoyed sparingly.

Of course, there are some other wines well worth considering…


Red Lasagna

The Style Made Famous in Naples, Southern Italy, and Italian-American Households

Wine of Choice: Aglianico

Stuffed inside and out with mozzarella, ricotta, meatballs, sausage, eggs, and olive oil, this epic, salt-of-the-earth meal calls for Aglianico, the champion grape of Southern Italy. Not only does the wine’s high tannin content complement rich and fatty dishes, but the high acidity and dried fruit flavors beg to paired with a hearty red sauce.

Expect to Spend: $20
Names: Aglianico del Vulture, Aglianico del Taburno, Taurasi (Expensive!)
Also try: Negroamaro, Primitivo, Pomerol (Red Bordeaux)



Try classic white Lasagna with a lean, olive driven white like Arneis. By Oliver H.

White Lasagna

Signature Style of Emilia-Romagna, Popular in Northern Italy, and Europe

Wine of Choice: Arneis

If you’re all about lasagna made with Béchamel and Bolognese in perfect balance with noodles, you should be all about pairing it with Arneis. This Piedmontese grape is a pain in the ass to grow. (Arneis doesn’t literally translate to “little rascal” for nothing). When done right, though, it becomes a zap-you-in-the-mouth wine that acts like an herb, infusing Béchamel and other creamy cheeses with unmistakable green notes. You’re gonna love it.

Expect to Spend: $20
Names to Look For: Langhe Arneis, Roero Arneis
Also Try: Chablis, Nebbiolo



Try Pesto Lasagna with a richer, green-themed white wine like Vermentino. By Wei-Duan Woo.

Pesto Lasagna

Greener, Leaner Alternative With Genovese Origins

Wine of Choice: Vermentino

This pesto-driven interpretation combines parmesan cheese, basil, pine nuts, and olive oil (and more lightly baked noodles) for a lasagna full of flavor and aroma. Sure, this Ligurian specialty isn’t as well-known as the above, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious. Pairing with an equally lean, green Vermentino is an excellent option. It’s dry, a touch oily, and just bitter enough to hang with this style’s fragrant nature.

Expect to Spend: $20
Names to Look For: Vermentino Toscana, Vermentino di Sardegna, Vermentino Bolgheri
Also Try: Soave, Grechetto



Try Moussaka with a fruity, spice-driven red wine like Grenache. By Namealus.

Moussaka

The Lasagna of the Levant, Middle East, and Eastern Europe

Wine of Choice: Grenache (Garnacha)

Maybe your favorite lasagna isn’t really lasagna at all. Maybe it’s Moussaka, a lasagna-like dish with a custardy Béchamel topping, eggplant filling, as well as cinnamon and nutmeg spices. (Served room temperature and cold in Turkish and Arabic countries!) It was a close call, but in the end, we had to go with Grenache. These wines make an excellent companion to herb- and spice-heavy dishes that emphasize roasted vegetables.

Expect to Spend: $25-50 (for starters)
Names to Look For: Garnacha, Cannonau, Côtes du Rhône Villages, Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Expensive!)
Also Try: Syrah, Priorat, Grillo, Retsina

About Vincent Rendoni

I'm a spicy meatball who loves light-bodied reds, aromatic whites, video games, and for better or worse, Seattle sports teams. I was a huge fan of Wine Folly before being hired, so I guess you could say I'm living the dream.