Lasagna is classic Italian comfort food, and one of the most popular dishes cooked by chefs worldwide.
While there are many different variations of this Italian staple, we will assume that we are dealing with a traditional ground beef lasagna with red sauce for wine pairing purposes.
Lasagna wine pairings can be made simple by following a few simple guidelines, and the best wine with lasagna combinations can most often be achieved with four common grape varietals.
So, what wine goes with lasagna? The quick answer is light to medium-bodied Italian reds and rounder jammy French reds are usually the best options for pairing with lasagna.
Let’s take a look at four wine types that are the perfect match!
What Wine Goes With Lasagna? Top Picks
The saying “what grows together goes together” is almost always applicable when it comes to pairing Italian food with Italian wines.
James Beard award-winning wine author Madeline Puckette recommends a glass of Sangiovese with traditional beef and red sauce lasagna.
Sangiovese provides enough acid to cut through the lusciousness of the fatty cheese, and the distinct bold flavor will not get lost on the palate or overpowered by the tomato sauce.
The low tannin content of Sangiovese also makes it a prime candidate, as tannin is the enemy of a hearty red sauce-driven dish like lasagna.
This particular grape variety is also well suited to handle the strong herbaceous flavors provided by Italian food, as flavors like basil, oregano, and balsamic all blend harmoniously with the acidic profile and subtle notes of red fruit and earth.
Chianti Classico is required to contain at least 80 percent Sangiovese and is one of the most highly regarded representations of the grape in Italy.
There are strict rules and regulations for producing Chianti Classico, and its classic rustic flavor is perfect for a lasagna dinner.
Lasagna is one of the most popular and replicated dishes in the entire country of Italy, and it is only fitting that it be paired with an Italian wine of equal popularity.
Sangiovese is the most commonly planted wine grape in Italy, and the primary varietal in the many famous “house reds” in restaurants and cafes nationwide.
Gamay is a French wine grape that produces a jammy red wine that is extremely easy to drink. This grape varietal is a favorite among sommeliers worldwide, many of whom consider it to be the most undervalued region in the entire world of wine.
One of the reasons Gamay is so popular amongst wine professionals is its supreme drinkability and low tannin, as many sommeliers experience a phenomenon called “palette fatigue” after long hours of wine tasting.
Palette fatigue is brought on by tasting high volumes of heavy, high tannic red wine throughout the course of a shift, and Gamay is the perfect red wine to counterbalance these effects.
For these same reasons, Gamay is a perfect wine grape to be paired with lasagna, as eaters can sometimes experience palette fatigue with heavier dishes, and its light fruitiness is a perfect balance to break up the flavor.
Decanter, a well-respected wine publication, has also highlighted Gamay’s compatibility with a hearty plate of lasagna.
Some of the most highly regarded representations of the Gamay grape come from the region of Beaujolais, France, which is located just south of the much more famous Burgundy region.
Some of the best bottles of Gamay in the world are produced in the Beaujolais region and rarely cost over $50.
3. Montepulciano D’ Abruzzo
The second most planted wine grape in Italy is a lesser-known grape on the international wine scene called Montepulciano D’ Abruzzo.
This grape is an extraordinary candidate for pairing with acidic red sauces, as its acidity profile is medium which helps to keep the sauce in check.
Montepulciano D’ Abruzzo rides the line in the middle of nearly every wine descriptor, as it is described as medium bodied, medium acidity, medium tannin, and medium length of finish.
The flavor is mild and can be enjoyed by wine enthusiasts as well as those new to the world of wine.
Drink and Pair is a website that is completely dedicated to finding the best food and wine pairings for all different types of cuisine, and they agree that this is one of the best grape varieties for pairing with traditional Italian red sauce.
The flavors of this medium to mildly strong Italian red include cherries, strawberries, raspberries, and other red fruit.
This is an example of an extremely well-balanced wine and is best suited for a less heavy lasagna, especially those that are topped with fresh herbs or balsamic sauce.
The medium body of merlot has been categorized as round and smooth, and often carries sweet notes like black and blue berries.
Merlot is also often described as “jammy” which can make it a perfect companion for particularly heavy red sauces.
Merlot is one of the most common grapes in the world, and many wine enthusiasts are unaware that their favorite red blends feature significant amounts of Merlot.
Martha Stewart is one of the most trusted names in the culinary industry, and her wine company suggests Merlot as an ideal pairing for red sauce-based dishes like pizza and lasagna.
This is one of the grapes used in the famous Left Bank blends of Bordeaux, and its primary purpose is to tone down the aggressive tannins and flavors found in the Cabernet Sauvignon.
Merlot works this same way to tone down and balance out heavy, fattier versions of lasagna, and provide a needed change of pace for the palette.
The full fruity berry flavors of a Merlot work to keep larger flavors like acidic tomato and strong herbs from overpowering the palette.