9 Best Carbonara & Wine Pairings: The Perfect Pair Guide

best carbonara wine pairing

Whether you’re planning an intimate romantic dinner, a cozy evening treating yourself to comfort food, or a memorable dinner party, the key to a remarkable dining experience lies in the details. Every element takes a crucial role. However, the aspect that can really make or break the overall enjoyment of the meal is beyond doubt the wine pairing. If you’re planning to serve pasta alla carbonara, then finding the right wine for it might be somewhat of a challenge. Worry not, you’ll discover here the best best carbonara & wine pairings giving you perfect sip for every creamy bite.

Also known simply as pasta carbonara, this classic Italian dish is a harmony of flavors and textures, and it deserves a wine partner that enhances its essence. You need something that can pair well with all of its ingredients, without overshadowing them. 

There are a lot of things to take into consideration, and let’s face it, the wine world can look very complicated and confusing if you’re new to it. So, if you’re tired of the usual Pinot Grigio, Chianti Classico, or Sauvignon Blanc, I’ve made this handy guide for you. 

In the next few minutes, I’m going to show you what to look for when pairing carbonara and wine and provide a list of different types of wine to explore. 

Let’s find the perfect pairing together!

carbonara pasta

Unveiling the Secrets: What to Keep in Mind When Pairing Carbonara & Wine

Even if you’re not really into wine culture, you’ve got to admit that some magic happens when the worlds of gastronomy and viticulture collide. A good pairing can really improve a dining experience without putting in too much effort. However, it requires a deep understanding of all the ingredients involved

For this reason, finding a wine to pair with carbonara can be tricky.

Carbonara is a dish rich in flavors and textures. It has delicate pasta and creamy egg yolk dance alongside the indulgent guanciale, bold pecorino romano, and the lingering embrace of black pepper. Such an intricate medley requires a wine pairing that respects every note and yet elevates the experience to celestial heights.

dry white wines for carbonara

Consider the ingredients

Each ingredient has a voice, and it deserves to be heard. 

The egg, with its delicate flavor and soft, creamy consistency, demands a companion that does not overpower it. A wine that sidles alongside, acknowledging its presence without overshadowing it. The guanciale, on the other hand, presents another layer to the story. Its fatty and unctuous nature calls for a wine with enough acidity to cut through, creating a harmonious balance that only amplifies the pleasure.

Oh, and then there’s the pecorino romano, with its salt-laden personality, demanding its due attention. A wine must match its robustness while maintaining its own identity. And let’s not forget the black pepper! Bold, pungent, and persistent, it lingers on the palate, begging for a wine that can match its intensity without succumbing to its charm.

As the curtain rises on the grand theater of carbonara and wine, one must choose a wine that stands confidently, ready to play its part. The ideal candidate bears certain qualities, non-negotiable in this gastronomic symphony. A discreet acidity, for instance, to dance alongside the dish’s fatty elements. A resolute structure, a backbone that supports the weight of the experience, and yet doesn’t steal the spotlight from the culinary protagonists. This wine must possess a certain softness, a velvet touch that embraces the dish rather than conquering it.

best red wines for carbonara

Red, white, or sparkling?

For wine enthusiasts who venerate the reds like me, a structured yet minimally tannic wine is the best choice. A wine that preserves the egg’s essence and harmonizes with the notes of black pepper. Opt for reds with a spicy allure, evoking memories of that very ingredient. But tread carefully, avoiding wines that are excessively quaffable.

For the adorers of white wines, a fresh and lively partner is a must. Chardonnay and Viognier take the stage, armed with mineral notes that cleanse the palate between each succulent bite. If the wood-aged elegance appeals, let these wines caress the carbonara. Their acidity will act as a refreshing breeze that balances the richness of the dish.

And for the devotees of effervescence, a sparkling Brut is the hero. With its crispness and delightful bubbles, it adorns each bite with an air of celebration. An effervescent companion that heightens the succulence of carbonara sauce, ensuring each mouthful is a dance of flavors.

In the realm of carbonara and wine, there’s no universal decree, no one-size-fits-all. Rather, there’s a symphony of possibilities, a tapestry of flavors waiting to be woven. 

Now, let’s give you some inspiration!

grape varieties

The Best 9 Wines

So, to sum it up, if you are looking for the perfect wine to pair with carbonara, you’ll have to choose one that bears all the following qualities:

  1. a good acidity to balance the dish’s fatty elements;
  2. a resolute structure to support the mouth-filling texture of the dish without stealing the spotlight from the culinary protagonists;
  3. a certain softness to embrace the dish, rather than overshadowing it.

Now, I’ll show you a variety of wines that meet all these criteria and that can help you bring your carbonara to new heights. I’ve got some for every type and budget, so don’t worry: whatever you’re planning on doing, I’ve got you covered. 

lasagna 4 pack

 

Sparkling Wines To Pair With Carbonara

Let’s start with sparkling wines. You’ll need to choose an Extra Dry or a Brut that heightens the succulence of carbonara, while balancing its flavor. Here are 3 that you shold try.

Franciacorta

Let’s start with a Brut. When choosing a dry sparkling wine to pair with carbonara, Franciacorta is the way to go. In particular, many sommeliers recommend the one produced by Ca’ Del Bosco

This winery is committed to making Franciacorta of the best quality. They use only organic grapes grown on clay and limestone soil, and they perform each stage of winemaking and fermentation with state-of-the-art techniques. Their flagship sparkling, Ca’ Del Bosco Cuvee Prestige, can be found online for about $50, but if you don’t want to break the bank, you can find other Franciacortas from the same producer for about $20. 

Their sparkling wines will be a perfect match for carbonara. The dry profile of Franciacorta will refresh your mouth and enhance the succulence of carbonara at the same time, while the bubbles will stimulate your appetite, making you crave for more pasta.

Trento DOC

Ideal for balancing and enhancing carbonara’s flavors, Trento DOC wines bring a touch of finesse to the table.

As the name suggests, this label indicates a type of sparkling white/rosé wines that are produced in the province of Trento. There are lots of producers in the area, and options for any budget starting from less than $20. 

Trento DOC dry white wines are characterized by a straw-yellow color and a fine, resilient mousse. They have a complex floral bouquet with hints of golden apple and a lively, harmonious flavor that will pair perfectly with your carbonara.

Don’t overlook the Rosè versions for a captivating twist. These wines have a cherry pink color, a distinctive fruity aroma and a medium body. Their sweet taste will make you feel like you are eating in the Alps.

 

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White Wines To Pair With Carbonara

Next, let’s see some types of white wine. When it comes to carbonara, white wines are usually the safest pair. The best ones are those that have been aged in wooden barrels, as they have a good acidity and a structure that allows them to balance the richness of carbonara sauce. Here are some that you should check out. 

Vermentino

An adventurous choice, Vermentino’s fresh acidity and herbal notes dance gracefully with carbonara’s complexity, creating a harmonious contrast.

Produced mostly in the island of Sardinia, this light-bodied wine has a complex taste in similar style to Sauvignon Blanc. It will dance with the fatty, hearty flavors of carbonara, balancing them with subtle notes of zest and hints of pear, white peach, lime, grapefruit and daffodils. Its crushed rocky minerality and saltiness make it also perfect to pair with medium-weight dishes that play with rich herbs and spices.

Being an underrated choice, this wine can be found at very low prices in Italy. If you want to buy it from the US, I’ve seen it listed for about $15 on a couple online sellers.

Soave Classico

A classic enthusiast’s dream, the minerality of Soave Classico complements the creaminess of carbonara, while its floral hints add an elegant dimension to the dish’s ingredients. This dry white wine from the Veneto region offers a delicate balance of acidity and fruit, making it a perfect complement to carbonara’s richness.

Soave Classico wines can reach very high prices depending on the producer and year of production. But once again, you don’t need to break the bank. There’s plenty of affordable options out there, and each will be a perfect pair with your carbonara!

Trebbiano d’Abruzzo

For those who cherish tradition, this Italian white wine’s clean and crisp profile enhances the pecorino romano’s savory notes, resulting in a balanced and timeless pairing.

Like the name suggests, this crisp white wine is produced in the Abruzzo region, Central Italy. It is a dry wine with medium acidity and fruit flavors such as apple, pear, and citrus. Trebbiano d’Abruzzo is a good pairing for carbonara because it can cut through the richness of the dish without overpowering it.

Be sure to look for one that is made from 100% Trebbiano grapes. This grape variety is known for producing wines with plenty of acidity and fruit flavors. As for the other wines on this list, these features will help to balance out the creaminess of the carbonaras and to complement the other ingredients. If you don’t know where to find one with these qualities, the Trebbiano made by Emidio Pepe is an excellent choice.

Greco di Tufo

If you are looking to surprise your taste buds with unexpected combinations, you will love this wine’s aromatic intensity and vibrant acidity, which accentuate carbonara’s rich flavors.

Greco di Tufo is a dry white wine from the Campania region of Italy. It is made from the Greco grape variety, which is thought to have originated in Greece, and is known for its delicate and complex flavors, which include citrus, stone fruit, and honey.

This Italian wine is produced in the volcanic soils of the Tufo commune, which give it its name. The grapes are typically harvested in September and October. The wine is then fermented in stainless steel tanks or oak barrels, depending on the style of the producer.

Greco di Tufo is a versatile wine that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a variety of dishes. Apart from being a perfect wine pairing for carbonara, it is also a great match for seafood, poultry, and other pasta dishes.

Red Wines To Pair With Carbonara

Finally, my favorite ones. Red wines are a less common choice, but they can give you lots of surprises. 

Cortona Syrah

A red wine for the bold, the spiciness of Cortona Syrah resonates with the dish’s black pepper, while its structure stands up to the richness of the carbonara.

This fruity red wine is produced in the Cortona DOC area in Tuscany, Italy. It is made from the Syrah grape variety, which was first introduced to the region in the early 1980s. Cortona Syrah is known for its bold flavors and aromas, which include black fruit, spice, and earth. It has a deep purple color and a bold, full-bodied aroma with firm tannins that is best enjoyed with hearty foods and meat. Just like a good carbonara 😉

Cortona Syrah is a wine that is sure to please fans of bold reds. Pair it with your freshly made carbonara, and it will be a success! If you want to try one that is not too expensive without compromising on quality, go check out the ones made by the La Lastra winery.

 

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Trasimeno

In the midst of this selection, let us not forget Trasimeno, a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. Its earthy notes and regional character invite the diner on an exploration, a journey of flavor that complements carbonara’s complexity.

Trasimeno is a wine region in Umbria known for its production of red, white, and rosé wines. The red wines of Trasimeno are usually made from the Sangiovese grape variety, and are typically light to medium-bodied with flavors of red fruit, such as cherry and strawberry. 

Trasimeno wines are a great option for everyday drinking. Their qualities make them a good low-budget wine pairing for carbonara, that can be also paired with seafood and other pasta dishes.

Schioppettino

Schioppettino is a red wine grape variety that is native to the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. It is a relatively rare grape variety, known for producing wines with bold flavors and aromas.

Schioppettino wines are typically characterized by their high acidity. And although they can have high levels of tannins, they won’t end up covering the eggs. They also have intense flavors and aromas of black fruit, spice, and earth. These features make them a perfect pairing for carbonara. 

Particularly, many sommeliers recommend trying out Schioppettino Bressan 2015. This wine is a little more expensive than the ones I’ve listed so far, but if you’re cooking for a special occasion it will be worth the investment. Just make sure not to confuse it with Bressan – Schioppettino “Venezia-Giulia” 2015. The price difference is, how to say… very noticeable. I don’t know what can make a wine so expensive, and I’m definitely willing to stay blissfully ignorant. 😀

Now you have enough information to start exploring the world of carbonara and wine pairings. You can choose a wine from this list, or start trying your own matches. Let me know which one you liked more, and if you have some other wine to recommend, I’ll be happy to try it out and let you know in the comments! 🙂

Buon appetito!

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