Best Wine With Lasagna
The king of Italian comfort dishes, lasagna is rich, savory, herbaceous, cheesy, and sweet. When deciding what wine goes with lasagna, matching these decadent, complex qualities is essential.
You need a just as robust wine balanced with sweetness, savory flavors, and spice.
These are hands down the best wines to pair with lasagna.
Best Red Wines With Lasagna
Overall, a dry, robust Italian red wine is the best pairing for traditional lasagna. The wine's dark fruit flavors and spices will complement the herbs and tomatoes in the lasagna sauce. The wine’s pronounced acidity will cut through the dense cheeses nicely, and the savory notes will bring out the meat’s best flavors.
Make sure to grab a red with smooth, balanced, or low tannins, so they will not overpower the subtle, complex flavors of the lasagna’s spices.
Here are the best red wines to pair with your lasagna.
1. Chianti Classico (or Sangiovese)
Any red wine high in acidity will be an excellent addition to your lasagna meal. Chianti Classico nicely cuts through the ricotta and parmesan cheese, making it the perfect palate cleanser. As you take a bite between each sip, the flavors become new again. Chianti is primarily made from Sangiovese grapes, so the red blend is fruit-forward yet savory.
With a balance of smooth tannins, this wine won’t overpower the dish but instead brings out the sauce's herbaceous and sweet tomato flavors.
2. Pinot Noir
With a balance of herbal spices and fresh, crisp fruit, Pinot Noir is a delicious choice as a lasagna pairing. It is dry enough not to clash with the tomato sauce, and the fruit notes bring out those sweet flavors. Pinot’s earthy flavors will also complement any spices you have in the dish. Pinot Noir is an excellent match for mushroom lasagna, as its earthy notes will bring its flavors to the forefront.
A smooth, medium-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir is an easy choice for this meal pairing
3. Cabernet Sauvignon
Just as savory and fruity as the previous two, Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its pronounced plum, cherry, and tobacco notes. A quality Cabernet will have perfectly balanced tannins and a zip of acidity, making this red another perfect complement to the hearty meat and cheese sauce. Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied wine that can handle lasagna’s complex layers and flavors.
4. Zinfandel (Primitivo)
Smoky, fruit-forward, and zippy, the highly alcoholic, highly acidic Zinfandel is perfect for a red sauce full of meat. Each bite you take will taste like fresh barbecue, while the tomato sauce will taste that much more herbaceous as you sip. Dry, spicy red wines like Zinfandel are an ideal pairing as they bring out lasagna’s savory flavors.
Dry, clean, and light are just some things that make Rosé great. It’s a refreshing, crisp, fruity, and sometimes sparkling wine that’s always an easy sipper. The pronounced acidity in Rosé will easily cut through the dense cheese in lasagna. The fruit, berry, and floral notes will bring out the complex flavors in tomato sauce. Because Rosé is a dry wine, it won’t clash with the lasagna’s sweet and savory taste. Instead, it will cleanse the palate with a mineral finish.
A little softer in acidity than Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot has incredibly pronounced plum and cherry notes with undertones of chocolate and vanilla. This is an excellent complement to the pepper and tomato in lasagna sauce, making it another easy choice for pairing.
A classic Italian red wine, Dolcetto is often labeled the perfect pairing for pasta Bolognese. With a tannic bite and splash of acidity, this wine is dry with black plum, raspberry, and cherry notes. True to its roots, this wine is excellent for most Italian dishes with pasta, including lasagna.
Now that we’ve covered the most popular red wines with lasagna, where does white wine stand?
Does White Wine Pair With Lasagna?
White wine is not an obvious choice when pairing wine with a traditional red sauce lasagna. However, there are a few exceptions, as some lasagna recipes don’t involve tomato sauce.
When pairing this type of wine with lasagna, you would want high acidity and low sugar.
Here are the best white wines for those unique lasagna dishes.
1. Sauvignon Blanc with Vegetarian Lasagna
With its light pear and citrus flavors, Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect savory white wine for vegetarian lasagna. Its spicy, herbal notes complement the earthy eggplant, garlic, and mushroom flavors. Sauvignon Blanc is best paired with lasagna made with white or pesto sauce.
Look to New Zealand Blancs for a savory pairing. This wine will be perfect for spinach lasagna with lots of butter instead of ricotta cheese.
If you want to add spice to your lasagna noodles, Riesling is perfect for recipes with a kick. For this lasagna and wine pairing, it’s best to look to recipes with cream-based sauces. Riesling is tart with lemon, lime, and pineapple flavors. Its acidity makes it an excellent addition to white sauce lasagna.
3. Pinot Grigio
Is your lasagna heavy with garlic? A light and zingy Pinot Grigio will bring balance to these potent flavors. With nectarine, citrus, and peach notes, Pinot works best with alfredo sauces and lighter meats like chicken.
4. Chardonnay (Lightly Oaked or Steel Aged)
When considering Chardonnay as a lasagna wine pairing, it’s best to stick with lighter ones containing a smooth mineral taste. Steel-aged or lightly oaked Chardonnay will taste best with creamy vegetarian lasagna stuffed with ricotta.
While Chardonnay isn’t the most common white to pair with lasagna, certain types can work, but usually only if the lasagna is vegetarian. The high acidity in steel-aged Chardonnay is perfect for cutting through those fatty cheeses.
How to Pair Wine With Lasagna
For traditional red sauce lasagna stuffed with beef, ricotta, and parmesan cheese, savory red wine with high acidity and juicy fruit notes will always work best.
White wine can work as a lasagna pairing, but only for alternative recipes with vegetables, lighter meats, and cream-based sauces.For more recipes and wine pairings, visit our Wine Insiders Blog.