Eggplant Parmesan is an Italian dish that is considered to be a staple within Italian-American cuisine. The dish itself is becoming more popular among the younger generations and continues to flourish in various recipes due to a wide variety of ever-changing ingredients.
Its classic recipe began with the Eggplant Parmesan we’ve all come to love.
The base ingredients of the dish include eggplant, mozzarella, parmesan, and a tomato sauce. The big question is what wine we can choose that will pair perfectly with the pasta-like baked dish.
Below we will discuss whether red or white wines will pair and which wines to avoid. Let’s First let’s which wines to pair with eggplant parmesan.
Which Red Wines Pair the Best with Eggplant Parmesan?
It’s no secret that this dish will often pair better with red wines, specifically Italian ones. Zinfandel and Primitivo are two terms for the same wine grape.
The wines produced from the wine grape are good pairs for eggplant parmesan. However, there are also three more recommended wines to try with this dish.
You’ll see a recurring pattern among these red wines that pair with the Italian dish of eggplant parmesan. That is, they are all considered to be Italian wines!
Another option is Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, which offers notes of pepper, oregano, and tobacco which is considered to pair nicely with eggplant parmesan. Two other acceptable options are red wines like Barbera or Nebbiolo.
Which White Wines Pair the Best with Eggplant Parmesan?
While red wine is considered to be the better option for eggplant parmesan, there are a few white wines that are considered to be just as good! White wines include but are not limited to Chablis, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, and even rose White Zinfandel.
Truth be told, these may be the recommended wines for this Italian dish, but it shouldn’t stop you from experimenting with other wines to discover a possibility of flavor intensity.
To assist you in your trial and error process, listed below are a few things to avoid when it comes to pairing wines with this dish.
What are the Most Popular Wine Choices for Pairing Eggplant Parmesan?
Two wines are considered to be the most favorable for eggplant parmesan, and it’s just a matter of experimenting with both to find the one you will favor! The most favorable option for the red wine pairing is Barbera.
The dry Italian red wine is considered to be the best pair due to its high acidity and low levels of tannins. Below, you’ll find a more in-depth description of the wine to configure if it might or might not be a wine you’ll enjoy.
White Zinfandel is considered to be more of a rose instead of a white wine, but with a pink tint. In addition, the wine has popular notes of strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. Dry wine is considered to have a high alcohol content, usually exceeding 15%, and low acidic content.
Are there any Wine Varieties you should Avoid Pairing with Eggplant Parmesan?
While experimenting is always fun when finding new wines to try with your favorite cuisine, it’s important to note that there are a few traits in different wines to steer away from to avoid a bad experience with eggplant parmesan.
First, it’s best to avoid wines that have been aged in oak with this dish. While the rich butterscotch and caramel notes of these wines may seem tempting, they will not complement the tomato sauce in the eggplant parmesan.
Another important trait to recognize is the style of the wine you choose. Sweet wines and sparkling wines will also not complement or define the flavors of the eggplant.
Sticking with a still dry or even a bone-dry wine will be the most acceptable choice to pair with eggplant parmesan.
Barbera vs. Sangiovese – Which One Should You Choose For Pairing with Eggplant Parmesan?
While both of these wines are great acceptable choices that both offer a different defined pallet taste, there is one that is more preferred than the other. Barbera is considered to be the more favorable choice. However, this wine may not be for everyone.
Listed below are brief yet in-depth descriptions of both Barbera and Sangiovese to help you decide which one you might prefer over the other when pairing them with eggplant parmesan.
Barbera is a bone-dry red wine with a unique set of notes. The wine is high in acidic content, low in tannins, and considered a medium-full-bodied wine.
Its alcohol content ranges anywhere from 13.5-15% by volume. Its notes include cherry, licorice, blackberry, black pepper, and other notes of dried herbs.
Sangiovese is a bone-dry red wine that, like Barbera, also contains a unique set of notes. This wine is high in acidic content, high in tannins, and is also considered to be a medium-full-bodied wine.
The wine’s alcohol content ranges from 13.5-15% alcohol by volume. Sangiovese contains notes of cherry, roasted tomato, balsamic, oregano, and espresso.
Final thoughts on the wine pairings of Eggplant Parmesan
Red wines that pair nicely with eggplant parmesan include Zinfandel, Primitivo, Barbera, Nebbiolo, and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
White wines that pair with the dish include Chablis, Sangiovese, and Sauvignon Blanc. A rose that also pairs well with the dish is White Zinfandel. The most favorable wine choices for the dish include White Zinfandel and also Barbera.
When deciding between the two acceptable wine options, Barbera and Sangiovese, it’s important to keep in mind that both of these wines have a unique set of notes that can complement the dish in their own way.
However, Barbera is considered to pair with the dish better than the Sangiovese.