What Wine Pairs With Cacio e Pepe? Several great red, white, and sparkling wines pair well with this classic dish. If you’re in a rush, start with a well-known Italian red like Chianti or Barbera.
Cacio e Pepe is a classic Roman dish famous worldwide for its simplicity and deliciousness. But, when it comes to pairing wine with this creamy, peppery pasta, it can be challenging to find the right match. In this guide, we will explore the best wine options to complement the flavors of cacio e pepe.
Want to know more about pasta wine pairings? See my guide to chicken alfredo wine pairing and wine pairing with fettuccine alfredo. With those pairings, you’ll be ready to enjoy a wide range of Italian cuisine.
Understanding the Flavor Profile of Cacio e Pepe
In Italian dishes, pasta dishes are some of the most beloved worldwide. Cacio e pepe is a classic Italian favorite, even though it is not as famous as well known as pasta carbonara.
This simple and comforting Italian pasta dish is made with spaghetti, other long pasta, Pecorino Romano cheese, and black pepper. But what kind of Italian wine is the perfect pairing for cacio e pepe?
Understanding the flavor profile of cacio e pepe is key to finding the perfect wine to pair with it. The tasty dish is known for its salty, tangy, and peppery flavors. The cheese brings a sharp and savory taste, while the black pepper adds a spicy kick. When pairing wine with cacio e pepe, choosing a glass of wine that can complement these flavors without overpowering them is crucial.
Light-bodied white wines are a great option to pair with cacio e pepe. Wines like Pinot Grigio or Vermentino from regions like Tuscany and Piedmont are perfect. These wine styles are known for their crisp acidity and light body, which can help cut through the sauce’s creaminess and balance out the salty and tangy flavors. Matching acidity levels in your food and wine is vital to bringing together a wonderful dining experience.
For wine lovers who prefer red wines, a light-bodied red wine like Chianti or Barbera can also work well with cacio e pepe. The wine’s acidity and tannins can help balance the cheese’s saltiness, making it an excellent pairing for this Italian comfort food. So browse the Italian wine section and make your next bottle of wine one of these well-known Italian reds.
When pairing Italian wines with cacio e pepe, it’s essential to understand the dish’s flavor profile. Light-bodied white wine or light-bodied red wine can perfectly complement the flavors of cacio e pepe. And with so many delicious Italian wine regions to choose from, the options for the perfect pairing are endless.
What Wine Pairs With Cacio e Pepe: Red, Wine, and Sparkling Options
Cacio e Pepe is a classic Italian pasta dish known for its rich, creamy sauce and spicy kick of black pepper. Pairing wine with pasta dishes can be tricky, but the right approach can enhance the flavors of the fantastic food. There are several dry wine options – white, red, and beyond – that pair well with Cacio e Pepe:
Sauvignon Blanc is an international variety that pairs well with pasta dishes. It has high acidity and bright fruit flavors that can balance the richness of the butter-based dishes. One example is the 2019 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc by St. Supery Vineyards & Winery. It has earned 91 points from Wine Enthusiast and is described as having citrus and tropical fruit flavors. The winery website describes it as “a refreshing and bright wine that pairs perfectly with a bowl of pasta.”
Grüner Veltliner is a native variety of Austria that has high acidity and spicy notes. It pairs well with spicy dishes like Cacio e Pepe. One example is the 2020 Grüner Veltliner by Weingut Nigl. It has earned 92 points from Wine Spectator and has bright green apple and white peach flavors. The winery website recommends pairing it with pasta dishes.
My list of favorite wines has included Chianti for years. That well-known Tuscan wine is an excellent match for the acidity in tomatoes. Cacio e pepe pasta is at the top of my wine with pasta pairings list.
Another option – potentially an ideal wine pairing for many people – is a well-known Sicilian red wine.
Nero D’Avola is a native variety of Sicily, Italy. It has medium tannins and berry flavors that pair well with the saltiness of the Pecorino Romano cheese in Cacio e Pepe. One example is the 2018 Sicilia Nero D’Avola by Feudo Maccari. It has earned 90 points from Wine Spectator and is described as having balanced tannins and flavors of blackberry and black cherry. The winery website recommends pairing it with spicy dishes and pasta.
Rosé wine is versatile and can pair well with various dishes, including pasta. A dry rosé with medium body and acidity can complement the flavors of Cacio e Pepe. One example is the 2020 California Rosé of Pinot Noir by Meiomi. It has earned 91 points from Wine Enthusiast and is described as having flavors of strawberry and watermelon. The winery website recommends pairing it with pasta dishes.
There are a few options to consider when it comes to sparkling wine pairing suggestions for Cacio e Pepe. Sparkling wine can complement the saltiness and creaminess of the dish while also cleansing the palate between bites. Here are three specific wines that have earned high scores from wine critics:
Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Champagne: This champagne has earned 95 points from Wine Enthusiast in the past and is made with a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grape varieties.
N.V. Jansz Premium Cuvée Sparkling Wine: This Australian sparkling wine has earned 91 points from Wine Spectator and is made with a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grape varieties.
Iron Horse Estate Blanc de Blancs Green Valley: This Californian sparkling wine has earned 92 points from Wine Enthusiast and is made entirely from Chardonnay grapes.
Enjoying a bottle of sparkling wine with two glasses alongside a bowl of Cacio e Pepe’s is a great way to elevate the meal. The effervescence of the sparkling wine can help balance out the richness of the dish, creating a delightful pairing. So, to try something new, consider a Cacio e Pepe wine pairing with sparkling wine.
What Wine Pairs With Cacio e Pepe Summary
Pairing wine with Cacio e Pepe requires consideration of the dish’s strong flavors. White wines with high acidity, red wines with medium tannins and berry flavors, and dry rosé wines with medium body and acidity are all great options.
The next time you enjoy a bowl of Cacio e Pepe, try one of these delicious wine pairings to elevate the meal to new heights.