Duane McLaughlin

Arancini and Wine: Discovering the Perfect Match

Exploring the best wine pairings for the delightful Arancini balls.

Arancini balls served with a complementing glass of wine

Basics to Pairing Wine With Arancini

Pairing wine with Arancini, the classic Sicilian stuffed rice balls, is an enjoyable exploration of flavors. As a general rule, Arancini pairs wonderfully with crisp white wines or light-bodied reds that can complement the rich, cheesy, and often meaty fillings.

General Tips for Pairing Wine with Arancini

When selecting a wine to pair with Arancini, consider the richness of the rice and the fillings, which can range from cheese to ragù. A wine with good acidity is ideal to cut through the richness, and a hint of fruitiness can complement the savory flavors. Avoid very tannic or heavy wines, as they can overpower the delicate rice texture.

Specific Pairings for Arancini

Here are some specific wine pairings for Arancini:

  • Vermentino (€10-€20): Its crisp acidity and citrus notes complement the richness of Arancini, Argiolas Costamolino Vermentino di Sardegna is a great choice.
  • Nero d'Avola (€15-€25): A medium-bodied red with fruity and spicy notes, Feudo Maccari Nero d'Avola pairs well with meat-filled Arancini.

Can you drink heavy red wines with Arancini?

While heavy red wines are typically not recommended for Arancini due to their potential to overpower the dish's flavors, a lighter red with lower tannins, like a Dolcetto, might be experimented with, especially if the Arancini includes robust fillings like spiced meat or rich cheese.

Arancini with a Spicy Twist

While classic Arancini recipes are delightful, adding a twist of spicy sausage or a dash of hot pepper can add an exciting dimension. This spicier version pairs well with a slightly sweeter wine, like a Gewürztraminer, to balance the heat.


Pairing wine with Arancini is about finding a balance that complements the dish's rich and varied flavors. Whether you choose congruent or complementary pairings, the key is to enhance the overall experience. Remember, personal preference is crucial, so explore different wine options to discover your perfect match.