What is the Best Wine to Put in Spaghetti Sauce?

Last Updated on July 3rd, 2023

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Taking a second to consider the three basic different wine types, white wines are best for lighter flavored dishes as well as Rosé varieties. Red wines are thicker and fuller, and the tannins will pair best with beef products and other red meats, which brings us to the topic.

Red wines are best paired with pasta featuring marinara sauces, good hearty meat, or a main fish course. However, not all pasta dishes are made this way. 

Certain lighter dishes feature lighter dressing and sauces, which will pair better with the lighter Rosé or White wine.In this article, we shall share a nice balance of both types of dishes and wine pairings. 

How Does Wine Affect the Flavor of Spaghetti Sauce?

As touched on above, there are going to be certain aspects of both red and white wines that will help lend flavorful boosts to the pasta dishes. 

In this question, spaghetti sauce is normally associated with a tomato-based paste that naturally pairs with red wine, which will kick in a tart flavor with robust notes of the tannins unique to the bottle. 

Beyond adding flavor, red wine will change the consistency of the sauce, at first making it lighter and thinner.

After a quick bubble boil, the sauce will reach the desired texture. This change is added by the alcohol content, which breaks down and dissolves lipids in the sauce. 


What are the Best Types of Wine for Red Sauce?

Red sauces, especially for pasta and Mexican dishes like enchiladas, are made primarily with beef and other red meat products. 

However, as touched upon earlier in the article, there are going to be many flavorful matches that occur when Red and Rosé wines are mixed into the red sauce. 

When thinking about entertaining, entertaining the guests with full-bodied red wine can loosen up guests and then be a nice compliment to a spaghetti dish or enchilada. 

Then follow up this meal with a nice dessert Rosé, which will give guests time to digest but also enjoy a lighter spirit to cap the night with. 


Can White Wine be Used in Spaghetti Sauce?

White wine will not be a good addition to spaghetti sauce, but when it comes to other pasta dishes, there will be a few sauces that will call for white wine. 

These sauces include alfredo and even a white wine pasta sauce, based nearly exclusively on the flavor palette of the vintage added. 

Below are a few dishes that require a sauce in which white wine can be added:


  • Fettuccine Alfredo – classic Italian dish that features a light creamy sauce. Consider cubes of chicken to absorb some of that white wine. 
  • Lemon Garlic Pasta – a light pasta dish that can be drizzled in white wine for a kick of flavor. 
  • White wine sauce pasta – as the name suggests, the sauce is based on white wine, providing light to medium-density dishes. 


How Do You Determine the Right Amount of Wine to Add?

The most effective way to keep from overusing wine is to follow a set of directions or to prepare the wine portions beforehand, which will allow for some mistakes to be made before serving anyone food. 

Then consider how thick you want your sauce to be. Higher volumes of white wine will effectively thin out the sauce, while a boil will cook off the wine, leaving a kick of flavor. 

Most recipes only call for a single-shot glass measurement of wine. 

However, there will be other dishes that will feature a sauce that requires higher densities of alcohol or white wine. 


Are There Any Tips for Cooking with Wine in Spaghetti Sauce?

The key to cooking with wine is the ability of the chef to cook off the excesses of alcohol, leaving hints and notes of flavor from the barreling process. 

Also, be sure not to mix any red wines with lighter pasta dishes, such as fettuccine alfredo or antipasto, and the same with not mixing white wines with any marinara-based sauces. 

Be sure not to burn the wine, which may sound strange, especially since liquids boil, but when you remove most of the liquid, the natural tannins that are found in red wines will be left over. Burning these elements will not be a pleasant experience. 


Final Thoughts on the Best Wine to Put in Spaghetti Sauce

More than a few dishes named in this article will call for wine as part of making the sauce, most of which call for red wine to thicken up a marinara sauce. 

Red and white wines are used in soups, sauces, and marinades and will be used to break down lipids in the sauce, releasing flavors while at the same time boosting acidic content. 


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