What Wine Goes Best With Pasta & Red Sauce?

By Anthony Potenza

Red sauce usually means red wine is the appropriate accompaniment, particularly when served with pasta. Chianti, merlot and shiraz are three red wines that pair best with red sauces like marinara.

Red wines are best with red sauces.


Chianti, a dry red wine made primarily from the sangiovese grape, is a classic pairing for pasta and red sauce. Chianti produces a medium-bodied ruby-red wine with an aroma of wild berries and flavors of black cherry and raspberry that blend well with the acidic quality of red sauce.


Once primarily used as a blending grape, merlot gained in popularity as a single varietal grape and is the largest selling red wine in the United States. Merlot pairs well with pasta and red sauce of any type. It is a dry, soft, plummy wine with smooth flavors of chocolate and blackcurrant.


Shiraz, or Syrah, is the signature wine of Australia, but is popular all over the world. Shiraz is a medium-bodied, dark red wine with a smoky aroma and flavors of raspberry and blackcurrant. It has an earthy quality that enhances red tomato sauces.