A guide to pairing Italian cuisine and wine from Prego
Italian food can be enjoyed the best when you pair it with a perfect glass of wine. Believe it or not, Italian cuisines and wine go hand-in-hand. That is because rich and herb-infused delicacies with aged wine create the perfect combination and an exceptional dining experience. Pairing food and wine can be overwhelming and daunting. There is an old saying “when it grows together, goes together” and that’s a simple rule you can follow when you are pairing your Italian food with a glass of wine. We don’t want you to be confused so if I simplify the saying it means, you shall pair the foods and drinks belonging to the same region. Considering the region is very important when it comes to Italian food and drinks.
As one of the best Italian restaurants in Perth, we came up with a guide. This small guide from Prego will help you to choose the perfect wines that go with your meal. You can take help from this guide next time you visit our restaurant. That way you can get rid of all your confusion when you take a look at our wine menu.
4 Basic rules of wine pairing
First, have a look at a few basic rules of wine pairing. I am sure you will get an overall idea from this. Moreover, these are not “written in stone”, they will just provide you with some basic knowledge about the same. The rules are as mentioned below:
Pair foods and wines that have similar kind of textures
When I say this, I mean, you need to understand what will bring out the best characteristics of both Italian cuisine and wine. It’s always best that you understand the richness of the food and then order a glass of wine that complements it. Let’s say you are having pasta with red tomato sauce. In that case, I would suggest you go for a glass of Chianti Classico. A glass of light and fragrant Vernaccia would be perfect if you are having a seafood platter. Vermentino is another white wine that compliments seafood well.
You need to maintain a proper balance between the taste of the food and wine
Foods that contain sour components such as lemon, vinegar and salty components such as soy sauce, olives, make the taste of the wine milder and less fruity. Lemons and vinegar are really the enemies of wines. At the same time, sweet dishes make the wine taste stronger and drier. So, when you are sitting in an Italian restaurant in Perth choosing a glass of wine with your food, you need to keep it in mind before pairing.
Acid+Acid is the formula
This is an important factor and I, personally, try to apply this when I am pairing wine with my meal. You need to balance the acidity of the food with the wine. For example, if your food is highly acidic, then your wine will taste bland. So, while pairing you need to keep this fact in mind. If you are having some food that contains lemon, I would suggest a glass of Pinot Grigio with that. However, if you are having dessert wines like Vin Santo, you must have torte or biscotti with that to balance its sweet taste.
The region of the wine should be taken under consideration
I was talking about it earlier and now I am going to tell you how you can exactly do it. Let’s say you have chosen a food item, the next step is to find the origin of the same so that you can find the wines belonging to the same origin. While you are going through the menu of Prego or any other Italian restaurants in Perth, you can understand how diverse Italy is when it comes to its cuisines and wines. Look for the popular vegetables and spices from a region and then choose the wine from that particular region only. No doubt, it’s a great way to pair wine with your meal.
Pairing food and wine
While pairing Italian food and wine, remember about the different types of wines. The different types include light, medium and full bodied wines. Now, if I am having a steamed food item, I would go for a light bodied wine and so should you. Pinot Grigio goes really well with light sauteed and poached food items. If I am having some grilled or roasted food that is rich in flavour I would prefer a glass of medium or full bodied wine like Sangiovese or Cabernet Merlot.
To make it easier for you, I am going to break it down. I will mention a category of food and wines that go best with those food items.
Many people will tell you that you should always go for white wines when you are having seafood cuisines. Well, if you ask me, I would say that’s not always true. Even if you order a glass of Chianti with your seafood you are going to enjoy it. If you are having oysters then a glass of Prosecco will bring out the best of the flavours.
Spicy pasta dishes
When you are having a spicy dish you wouldn’t want to pair the wrong type of wine that will make the flavours of the dish stronger and totally kill the flavour of the wine. This is the reason you need to pair pasta made with spicy sauces like Aglio Olio e pepperoncino, Arrabbiata with crisp and sharp wines. A dry white wine or a light red wine would work perfectly. Go for a glass of Riesling or a glass of Zinfandel if you want to enjoy your spicy pasta.
There is chicken then there are game birds like turkey, quail, and duck that contain more robust flavours than chicken. So, you need to pair these with wines that complement the earthy characteristics of the spices. Amarone has a beautifully balanced flavour and perfectly goes with this food category. As an alternative to Amarone, I would suggest Ripasso Primitivo.
Pairing some of the wines and cuisines from Prego’s food menu
Perfect wines to pair with your Italian food
If you take a look at our wine menu, you will find two varieties of white wines. The first one is light aromatic white wine and the second one is medium-weighted and textured white wine.
It is a classic light aromatic white wine that goes perfectly with any classic Italian cuisine. Pinot Grigio brings out the charm of Pesto. This wine has a simple yet vigorous flavour and that makes it special. If you are having bread then you can have this wine to perfectly complement your meal. You can also have this wine with Risotto, Antipasto and Mediterranean salad. And yes, we do serve it by the glass but if you prefer, you can order a whole bottle!
Chardonnay is one of the best white wines to pair with Italian cuisines. If you are having any kind of creamy Italian cuisine then you must have a glass of amorous Chardonnay with that. It is a white wine made from green-skinned grapes and originated from France, Burgundy. You will find different flavours of Chardonnay starting from apple and lemon to papaya and pineapple. You may pair this with Alfredo dishes and every kind of seafood. You would not be overwhelmed with the pleasing flavours of Chardonnay, even if you continue swigging without a pause, and that’s a guarantee!
This is a type of white wine that is crisp and acidic and at the same time light. The taste of this wine is very unique compared to other white wines owing to its green and herbaceous flavour. Sauvignon Blanc is more savoury than other whites so it pairs really well with the food items containing herbs like parsley, cilantro, rosemary, basil and mint. This wine goes perfectly with the variations of white meat like chicken and turkey. Having something from the sea? I really like this wine with sea bass, lobster and crab. Perhaps you will like it too.
This is one of the sweetest of white wines. The dryness of this wine depends on the region the grape grows. For example, the Californian Riesling is dry and has a flavour of watermelon while German riesling has a flavour of grapefruit. It goes really well with creamy and saucy dishes. So, if you are ordering creamy pasta here at Prego, ask for a glass of Riesling with that.
There are different categories among red wines too. While you are going through the wine menu of Prego, you will see we have light to medium weighted savoury red wines and richer and fuller-bodied red wines.
Pinot Noir falls under the category of light to medium weighted savoury red wines. It is a dry wine that originated from France consisting of complex flavours of mushroom, raspberry, vanilla and cherry. It is best paired with red tomato-based sauces. You can also pair it with white and oil-based sauces. It would even make a perfect pair if you order it with roasted chicken, duck and beef.
This is a richer and fuller-bodied red wine. It is a dry wine and tastes best when aged. Just like the colour of the wine it also goes perfectly with the red sauce dishes like pasta and so on. Other than that, you can have it with mushroom-based dishes, tomato and herb-based pasta, bolognese, grilled or barbeque dishes.
If you are a wine enthusiast,I am pretty sure Cabernet Sauvignon will come to your mind whenever you are thinking of a bold red wine. To produce this wine Cabernet grapes are used and that’s where it got its name. The wine has a strong flavour of black currant with an overtone of blackberry, chocolate, black cherry, mint, and eucalyptus. The taste of this wine highly depends on the region of production because the grapes represent the taste of the earth where they grew. Cabernet Sauvignon has a rich taste that goes perfectly with red meat and tomato sauce based pasta. You can have it with rib, sirloin or tenderloin steak. This wine goes perfectly with beef and any kind of burgers or even mushroom based cuisines.
Last but not the least, before I conclude, I would like to mention, these are just guidelines that will help you in pairing the wines better with your food. None of them are “rules” that you have to follow. I always believe in “eat what you like and drink as you want”. So, keep in mind these guidelines and choose your wine better.
Dine with us
Come to Prego for a rich flavour filled Italian style dining along with amazingly paired wines. You will find all these wines at Prego with the best Italian cuisines in Perth. Considering you want to enjoy your food and wine in a perfect fine dining setting, your visit to Prego Restaurant is a must. We are here to give you the best dining experience!
Prego Italian Restaurant has long been a destination choice for food lovers. Customers visit this special Italian Restaurant to taste some delectable Italian cuisine in the regions and leave the restaurant with great contentment. Our chef makes it a point to serve you the tastiest delicacies in the healthiest way. Count on us for a healthy & tasty treat and feel the indulgence!