Wine Pairings for Lasagne alle Melanzane (Eggplant)

Wine pairings for Lasagne alle Melanzane

Bianco: Grillo Friulano, Borgo del Tiglio Friulano Collio

Rosso: Casale delle Ioria Cesanese del Piglio,  Cantine Volpetti Cesanese Le Piantate

The two key components to this dish are the meaty eggplant and the tomato sauce. While there’s a considerable amount of cheese, they are mild cheeses. A wine that is free or mostly free of new oak influences is key, as combining tomato sauce and flavors of toast, chocolate and vanilla – by-products of new oak use – likely isn’t going to appeal to anyone around your table. Combine an unoaked character with a medium body, and this dish is so versatile just about any wine will work!

As there is no meat in this dish, it is a lasagne that takes well to white wine. A white with a light fruit-driven profile will match nicely with the tomatoes. Friulano from Italy’s northeastern region of Friuli is a good option, with its light peach overtones. Friulano also tends to have a smooth, lightly viscous or mouth-coating quality that texturally works well with the ricotta and mozzarella.

A red wine with red fruit flavors works well with the tomatoes in this lasagne, too. Cesanese has red tones as well as blueberry notes. The latter combine well with the meaty character of the eggplant. Cesanese is a grape from central Italy, typically found around Rome in Lazio. It’s a grape making a comeback in varietal wines, but if you cannot find it, a good Chianti Classico (do make sure it is a Classico and not a Chianti ‘normale’) will work, too.

Check out our recipe for Lasagne alle Melanzane.

Cin cin!
Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine (MW)
Wine Editor

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