Guide to pasta & non-alcoholic wine pairing

Nov 25, 2022

In case you didn’t guess from my name, Irene Falcone, I have Italian heritage. So when it comes to pasta, I’m all in. In fact, I would happily eat pasta every night of the week, whether it’s Penne Napoletana, Fettuccine Alfredo or Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino. And, as Italians will tell you, the best side to any pasta dish is a glass of wine!
A glass of wine filled with Two Hoots Non-Alcoholic Wine and a plate with pasta

The pairing of wine and pasta isn’t new, both pasta-making and winemaking have enjoyed a long history in Italy. In fact, many regions are known for having both a particular type of pasta and a particular type of wine — which is why Italy is such a popular destination for food and wine tourism. 

Of course, you don’t need to go all the way to Italy to enjoy the perfect pairing of pasta and wine, and you definitely don’t need traditional wine — I’m happy to tell you that non-alcoholic wine pairs just as well and it doesn’t even need to be a non-alcoholic Italian wine — we have some of the best non-alcoholic wines for food pairing right here in Australia. 

When choosing a non-alcoholic wine to serve with a pasta dish, it’s best to think about the sauce, rather than the pasta. A good food and wine pairing will make both the non-alcoholic wine and the pasta dish taste better — get it wrong and you’ll overpower your wine and corrupt your palate. But don’t be intimidated, I’ve put this guide together to help you find non-alcoholic wines that will suit your pasta dish without changing the taste of your wine

Tomato-based pasta dishes 

Tomato-based pasta dishes are often high in acidity so they work well with non-alcoholic wine that has a tart mouthfeel and a middle-weight body. Non-alcoholic red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot work well as they have enough acidity to balance out the sauce. 

Try this

Penne Napoletana — don’t let the simplicity of this dish fool you, when it’s done well, it’s to die for. Made with tomatoes, garlic, crushed red pepper and basil and served with Penne, it’s a humble pasta dish that’s bursting with flavour. 

Pair it with

I think Two Hoots Non-Alc Cabernet Sauvignon is the best non-alcoholic red wine to pair with Penne Napoletana. 

Cheese and cream pasta dishes 

The good news about cheese-based pasta dishes is there is an almost infinite supply of them. Happily, when it comes to the best non-alcoholic wine to pair them with, there are lots of options. While you don’t necessarily need to select a non-alcoholic white wine, I find that wines such as Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris bring out the creaminess of the cheese. If you do prefer non-alcoholic red wine, go for a lighter one like Pinot Noir. 

Try this

Fettuccine Alfredo — made with butter and parmesan, it’s a melt-in-the-mouth, rich and oh so creamy pasta dish.

Pair it with

I think Next Destination 2018 McLaren Vale Chardonnay is the best non-alcoholic white wine to have with Fettuccine Alfredo. 

Pesto pasta dishes 

Although pesto is easy to make, it packs a punch in terms of its beautiful herbaceous flavour. There are lots of ways to make pesto by using different mixtures of herbs and nuts. My favourite recipe features the classic combination of basil and pine nut — it works every time. Dry wines work really well with pesto dishes as they complement the earthiness of the herbs. If you are going for a non-alcoholic white wine, try a Sauvignon Blanc. If you prefer a non-alcoholic red wine, try a Merlot or a nice red blend. 

Try this

Peso Farfalle with Spring Greens — I use classic basil and pine nut pesto to make this dish. After stirring the pesto through the farfalle, I add blanched greens such as asparagus, peas and zucchini. 

Pair it with

I think 1920 Wines Non-Alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc is the best non-alcoholic white wine to have with Pesto Farfalle. 

Vegetable pasta dishes 

I love a good pasta primavera dish loaded with fresh veggies, especially during the spring and summer months when lighter meals are in order. Non-alcoholic white wine pairs beautifully, enhancing the flavour of the vegetables and bringing out the freshness of the dish. A wine with some floral notes like a Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay will work especially well, as will a non-alcoholic sparkling wine

Try this

Pasta Primavera with broccoli, bell pepper, zucchini, peas, and tomatoes. I balance out the light cream sauce by using lots of veggies. 

Pair it with

I think Next Destination 2021 Langhorne Creek Blanc de Blanc is the best non-alcoholic sparkling wine for Pasta Primavera. 

Spicy pasta dishes 

You have to be careful with spicy pasta dishes as the wrong wine can throw off the flavour of the food. To avoid this, go for non-alcoholic wine that is crisp and sharp such as a Riesling or Chenin Blanc. 

Try this

Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino - incredibly this dish only contains five ingredients; olive oil, garlic, red chilli, fresh parsley and of course, spaghetti. It can be ready in 15 minutes, just about enough time to open the wine. 

Pair it with

I think Two Hoots Non-Alcoholic Wine - Chenin blanc is the best non-alcoholic white wine to go with Spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino. 

I hope you’ve found this guide helpful and if I’ve done my job right, then I’d have inspired you to try some new types of non-alcoholic wine with your pasta. As you know, you can buy non-alcoholic wine right here at Sans Drinks. I’ve tried all my products so I am confident that my collection contains the best non-alcoholic wines on the market, including brands like Next destination wine, 1920 wine and Two Hoots wine. If you’re keen to hear more about non-alcoholic wine and food pairing, please sign up to my newsletter as I will be sharing more on this topic in the coming months. Good luck with your cooking and buon appetito!

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