What wine to drink with lasagna?

Published March 10th, 2022 - Updated March 24th, 2023

Lasagna is one of the most popular first courses of Italian cuisine, as well as being, in the memory of every Italian, the symbol of succulent Sunday family lunches.

It is a very tasty, rich and complete dish, which requires a long preparation and the use of fresh and quality ingredients.

White, red, with vegetables or pesto, with different types of meat or fish, lasagna or lasagne (you can actually use both singular and plural), is a dish that lends itself to different recipes, marrying well with very different ingredients. But with all these variations, the question that comes to mind is: what goes with lasagna?

Wine pairings, even if only remaining on the Italian territory, offer many options, so many that we are spoiled for choice. Here is our selection of the most popular recipes and the best lasagna wine pairing for each of them.

Subscribe to Wine Bugle!

Get updates on the latest posts and more from Wine Bugle straight to your inbox.

Lasagna wine pairing general rules

The most important thing to keep in mind when deciding what to serve with lasagna is the seasoning. The sauce and the ingredients that are added to the pasta are fundamental in choosing the wine in combination, but it is also necessary to consider which of these ingredients has a dominant flavor.

Normally, lasagna needs a wine characterized by a nice acidity to counteract the general sweet tendency of the dish: after all, both fresh egg pasta and béchamel are characterized by a certain sweetness and fatness.

When lasagna is made with tomato sauce, a light red wine, or a rosé with a good structure can counterbalance the acidity of the tomato and enhance its flavor.

If the lasagna is meat-based, then the wine must certainly be red, with good acidity, a medium body, and a soft, fruity flavor. The vegetarian or fish variants, on the other hand, may require more or less structured white wines depending on the sauce and its creaminess, or, why not, some bubbles, because we know that bubbles are perfect for delicately cleaning the palate of any greasiness.

And finally, when in doubt, a little trick to get it always right is to focus on a regional match. The various local interpretations of the lasagna recipe are linked to the typical ingredients of the different regions: for example, ragù in lasagna bolognese or pesto in lasagna alla Genovese. For this reason, to create harmony and balance between the various flavors and aromas and easily find the most traditional and successful combination, you can focus on local wines, coming from the same areas as lasagna. Trust me, it always works!

Best wines with lasagna Bolognese

The most classic Italian lasagna is the Bolognese one. A traditional Emilian recipe, now widespread all over the world, that has become a true symbol of Italian cuisine.

The basic ingredients are eggs and flour for the pasta sheets, provola, parmesan or pecorino, tomato sauce and bechamel, beef or pork for the ragù, sautéed with oil, carrots, celery, and onions.

To enhance the flavor of a dish with such a strong taste, you need a full to medium-bodied red wine, capable of contrasting the fatness with a good alcoholic vein and enhancing the persistence of the ingredients with good acidity.

Best wine with lasagna bolognese.

What is a good red wine to serve with lasagna?

The best wine with lasagna Bolognese will always be a Sangiovese. Because it is delicious and ubiquitous (it is indeed the most cultivated grape in Italy) and its sour and savory taste is the perfect match with the intensity of lasagna. Sangiovese produces all over the peninsula balanced and harmonious wines that are at the same time elegant and warm and that can keep up with the succulence of the dish with its freshness and tannins.

But it is in Tuscany, and more precisely in the Chianti Classico area that Sangiovese develops the ideal characteristics to keep up with the flavor and richness of lasagna al ragu. Chianti Classico is in fact the best red wine for lasagna bolognese: dry, with a good dose of freshness and good alcohol content, with perceptible tannins but well blended in a full structure.

Our suggestion: Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG "Vigneto di Campolungo", Lamole di Lamole

Aglianico with lasagna Bolognese

If you want to try something different and explore the enormous ampelographic richness of Italy, try Aglianico: the emerging red grape of Southern Italy.

Aglianico is a volcanic wine, it is no coincidence that the most suitable areas are Vulture in Basilicata on the slopes of the homonymous volcano and Campania where this grape produces wines of excellent quality and longevity such as Taurasi in the province of Avellino and Aglianico del Taburno, in the province of Benevento.

Not only does the wine's high tannin content pair with rich, fatty dishes, but its high acidity and dried fruit flavors deserve to be paired with a rich red sauce. An epic and tasty dish like lasagna Bolognese certainly deserves the powerful personality of an Aglianico.

Our suggestion: Aglianico del Vulture DOC Gricos, Grifalco

Barbera with lasagna Bolognese

Barbera is undoubtedly one of the most cultivated vines in the Langhe and throughout Piedmont. It is characterized by a ruby red color that suggests those fruity aromas of cherries and plums that distinguish it when tasted. Together with the vinous and fruity scents, there are always floral notes of hydrangea, violet, and the lightest spicy notes of licorice, pepper, coffee, and, in some cases, cinnamon and vanilla.

Barbera is always and in any case characterized by a good degree of freshness and precisely because of this characteristic it goes well with those dishes with an evident sweet tendency and gentle fatness.

Whether it comes from Alba or Asti or the Monferrato area, it is always delicious with pasta with meat sauce, especially with a tasty and rustic lasagna bolognese. The freshness of the wine and its soft, fruity, and slightly vegetable and spicy flavors, make it a perfect red wine for lasagna.

Our suggestion: Barbera d'Asti Superiore DOCG "La Luna e i Falò", Vite Colte

Best wine with vegetarian lasagna

Choosing the best wine for a vegetarian lasagna strictly depends on which vegetables are used in the recipe and whether or not tomato sauce is added. Some vegetables such as artichokes or asparagus may have a slightly more intense flavor, but in general the taste of vegetarian lasagna is rather delicate, characterized by good aromas and slight fatness.

Best wine with vegetarian lasagna.

What is a good white wine to serve with vegetarian lasagna?

The ideal combination is a dry white with a good aromatic profile of fresh flowers, some vegetal notes and good minerality. A wine that is able to cleanse the palate without overpowering the delicate flavor of vegetables.

An elegant Piedmontese Arneis would be the best choice with its aromas reminiscent of the spring countryside, Mediterranean fruits and herbs, its gentle character, and good sapidity.

Our suggestion: Roero Arneis DOCG, Matteo Correggia

Prosecco with radicchio lasagna

But Prosecco is a great alternative, especially if the lasagna has been prepared for a special occasion or if it's a radicchio lasagna. A good aromatic and sparkling white like Prosecco manages to degrease the mouth and prepare it for the next bite and presents the right balance between structure and softness to enhance the richness of the dish. Plus, Prosecco and radicchio are a match made in heaven and you can never go wrong with these two!

Our suggestion: Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut DOCG "Saltèr", Ruggeri

Good wines for tomato-based vegetarian lasagna

And if the recipe calls for the use of tomato sauce, such as for lasagna with aubergine parmigiana or a mushroom lasagna, then the right match would be with a rosé, such as Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo, which is tasty, with a pleasant fruit intensity to balance the acidity of the tomato.

Our suggestion: Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC Villa Gemma, Masciarelli

Red wine lovers don't worry: you too can find the perfect partner for your vegetarian lasagna. The best choice for vegetarian lasagna with tomato sauce is probably the Piedmontese Dolcetto. Its aromas of small red fruits and its medium body make it perfect, especially for the version with mushrooms. And then it is an easy-to-drink wine, which is always appreciated by everyone.

Our suggestion: Dogliani DOCG, Poderi Luigi Einaudi

Best wine for lasagna with pesto.

Best wine for lasagna with pesto

Lasagna with pesto is a typical Ligurian version of the traditional lasagna, made with the most famous Ligurian condiment: pesto.

This fresh sauce recipe made with basil, pine nuts, parmesan, and olive oil dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. The first to mention it seems to be a well-known gastronome of the time, Giovanni Battista Ratto in his work La Cuciniera Genovese.

The wine pairing for this simple vegetarian dish calls for tradition: strictly white, preferably local. The aromaticity of the basil and the sweet tendency of pasta and bechamel will need a wine that is equally aromatic and that can also balance the sensation of greasiness of the dish on a tactile level.

A Vermentino from the eastern side of Liguria is a great option. It is dry, lean, harmoniously structured and just slightly bitter to stay true to the fragrant nature of this dish.

Our suggestion: Colli di Luni Vermentino DOC Etichetta Grigia, Lunae