Pasta and Salads

Pairing Wine with PastaPasta 

The wine selection for pasta dishes will depend on the sauces and flavorings.

Cheese Sauce 
The range of options is wide, but aim for a red or white with good acidity. 

Cream Sauce 
A buttery California Chardonnay matches strength to strength; for contrast, try a zingy Sauvignon Blanc.

Pesto Sauce 
Serve a young red wine, such as a Dolcetto from Italy, a Beaujolais from France or a Zinfandel from California.

Tomato Sauce 
Counter the acidity of the tomatoes with an acidic white wine. If the sauce has garlic and meat, however, you could go for a fruity red wine, such as an Australian Shiraz or a young red Rioja from Spain.


A simple green salad with an oil and vinegar dressing, or any vinegar-based dressing, neither requires wine nor can it really be usefully paired with wine. There are a few salads, however, that can be matched with wine.

A California sparkling wine will go nicely with a Caesar salad.

This tuna-based salad is perfect with a dry rosé from southern France.

With a seafood salad, you could serve a California Chardonnay or a mid-range white Burgundy from France.

A grassy Sauvignon Blanc from California or New Zealand, or a brut rosé sparkling wine from California, will work well.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Guides, The Wine Guide, (Time-Life Books, 1999).

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