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How to Pair Wine with Pasta: A Cheat Sheet

Pasta fettuccine with beef ragout sauce in black bowl. Grey background. Close up. Top view.

Few pairings are as timeless as wine with pasta. But while traditional red sauce spaghetti and wicker-basket Chianti may always have a place in our hearts, Italian pasta dishes cover a wide range of styles with sauces that complement a variety of wines.

If you’re shaking up your weeknight dinner with a penne arrabbiata, carbonara or a cacio e pepe, we’ve got a cheat sheet of the best Italian wines to pair them with, from Sangiovese to Lambrusco and beyond.

Illustration by Eric DeFrietas

Pasta Sauce


Vodka Sauce


Peta Genovese



Cacio e Pepe


Aglio e Olio