When serving up an Italian feast the meal would not be complete without appropriate wine pairings and whether you planning a formal 7-course meal or a more casual affair a good wine pairing can truly bring your food to life.
Planning a multi-course dinner with different wines for each course can easily get expensive and overwhelming but the satisfaction of sitting down together to share good quality food and toast it all with delicious wines cannot be underestimated. As far as the stressful part goes, good pre-planning will help avoid any meltdowns further along the line and don’t forget that you can always embrace the Italian notion family and have your guests chip in or lend a hand either by bringing something prepared from their own kitchen or getting their hands dirty in your kitchen. And should any of your dishes turn out not quite how you expected just remember that food made its love is the best food of all!
With such an array of delectable Italian wines to choose from you may struggle with which types to choose. The trick in choosing good wines is to select food and wine pairings that compliment each other well. As there is such multitude of wines to choose from we are going to discuss options for 4 of the most common different styles of Italian wine.
Sparkling Wine: Prosecco has overtaken champagne and cava in terms of popularity in the UK in recent years. When planning your Italian feast kicking things off with a Prosecco is a great way to start the party. Proseccos, like all sparkling wines, are fairly light and refreshing, pair them with a fresh tasting appetiser such as a Caprese salad that showcases a fruity olive oil and tangy balsamic.
hite Wine: Italian white wines are a fabulous choice to pair with pasta, seafoods and even a delicate pizza or flatbread. The lightness of the white wine allows your guests to savour delicately flavoured cream sauces that would be masked by the stronger flavour of a red wine.
Red Wine: A strong and robust red wine makes the ideal accompaniment to a rich steak, firm seafood such as tuna steaks and swordfish and most tomato based dishes also make great companions to red wines. As you are potentially heading into tasting at least your third wine you may also want to serve some fresh crusty bread with olive oil for dipping with your red wine course.
Sweet Wines: No good meal is complete with a satisfyingly sweet end. While the saying goes ‘Life is short, eat dessert first’ we tend to take the ‘Good thing come to those who wait’ approach. Rounding out a good meal with an Italian favourite such as tiramisu, cannolis or a high-quality cheese plate is made that much sweeter by the addition of a quality dessert wine. As they have such a sweet taste, dessert wines are always served in much smaller glasses than any other wine. The sweetness of dessert wines is not for everyone however and you can also consider showcasing a good sweet wine by pouring a splash over ice cream or adding it to whipped cream for a delicate flavour.
Take a look at this video for even more information about pairing great wines with Italian food.
The Italian tradition is to keep the wine flowing freely throughout the meal. Look for deals on wine by the case at Tesco if you are planning an Italian wine dinner for a large group, or intend to have regular dinners for small groups to ensure you have enough to go around.