Tips & Techniques Beverages Pairing Wine with Pasta and Salads
Pairing Wine with Pasta & Salads


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 The Wine Guide (Time-Life Books, 1999)