Do you like to cook Italian recipes and pairing them with wines? This is the right place to find information about what wine goes well with pesto pasta. Hi, I am Francesca Maisano, an Italian sommelier in Rome, and in this article I focus on the ideal pairing with pesto pasta or, as we call it here, “pasta al pesto (alla genovese)”: a milestone of Liguria region typical cuisine. My advice is to choose a young white wine, full of fragrances (possibly herbs), mineral, fresh and medium body.
What wine to pair with pesto pasta
In Italy, we usually pair wines that come from the same region of the recipe. Every one of the 20 Italian regions has its own recipes and its own traditional wines (here it works like this). So, in this case, two very good traditional wines are Pigato and Vermentino (do you ever heard about them?). Simpler to find in you favourite wine shop and that pair well with pesto pasta are also Sauvignon, Muller Thurgau and Riesling.
Red or white wine with pesto pasta
The best wine with pesto pasta is surely white. But in the many years that I have been a sommelier I have learned that never say never. So, the rule is only one: be curious and try! So for those who really can’t do without red wine at the table, the one that comes closest to the characteristics of pesto is a light red wine with soft tannins and low alcohol. Like the Italian Rossese di Dolceacqua.
What is pesto sauce
Pesto, the pride of Italian cuisine, is an ancient and famous Ligurian sauce based on basil, garlic, Pecorino and/or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, pine nuts and extra virgin olive oil. To prepare this fragrant condiment, a symbol of Mediterranean good eating, all the ingredients must be placed in a mortar and, with a wooden pestle, reduced to a soft green cream. But it’s fine to use a cooking blender too. At the markets, there are ready-made pesto sauce, but the aromas of the freshly hand-made pesto have no comparison. Here is a link to a very good website of true Italian pesto pasta recipe.
A suggestion that may come in handy
By clicking on the Pairing Italian Wine and Food tag at the bottom of the article, you will find many interesting ideas about Italian style eating and drinking.
5 white wines of good cellars in Italy
Here are some examples of good wine pairing with pesto pasta. But you can try the same kind of wines from other cellars you find in your favourite wine shops.
- 1) Liguria – Pigato Riviera Ligure di Ponente della cantina Fontanacota (Pornassio – Imola)
- 2) Liguria – Vermentino Colli di Luni Il Bianco della cantina Il Torchio (Castelnuovo Magra – La Spezia)
- 3) Friuli – Sauvignon Friuli Grave della cantina Vigneti le Monde (Prata di Pordenone – Pordenone)
- 4) Trentino – Muller Thurgau San Lorenz della cantina Bellaveder (Faedo – Trento)
- 5) Lombardia – Riesling Oltrepo Pavese della cantina I Gessi (Oliva Gessi – Pavia)