Duane McLaughlin

Elevating Eggplant Parmesan with the Right Wine

Choosing the ideal wine to elevate the flavors of Eggplant Parmesan.

Eggplant Parmesan with an accompanying wine choice

Basics to Pairing Wine With Eggplant Parmesan

Pairing wine with Eggplant Parmesan is a delightful exploration of Italian flavors. As a general rule, Eggplant Parmesan pairs wonderfully with medium-bodied red wines that complement its rich tomato sauce and savory cheese layers.

General Tips for Pairing Wine with Eggplant Parmesan

When selecting a wine to pair with Eggplant Parmesan, consider the dish's robust tomato sauce, earthy eggplant, and rich cheeses. A wine with good acidity can cut through the richness, and a hint of fruitiness can complement the savory flavors of the dish. Avoid overly tannic or heavy wines, as they can overpower the eggplant's delicate flavors.

Specific Pairings for Eggplant Parmesan

Here are some specific wine pairings for Eggplant Parmesan:

  • Sangiovese (€20-€35): With its bright acidity and cherry notes, it complements the tomato sauce, Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino is an excellent choice.
  • Barbera (€15-€30): Known for its juicy acidity and dark fruit flavors, Pio Cesare Barbera d'Alba pairs nicely with the dish.

Can you drink white wine with Eggplant Parmesan?

While Eggplant Parmesan traditionally pairs better with red wines, a full-bodied white wine like an oaked Chardonnay could be an interesting match. The wine's richness can complement the cheese, while its acidity can cut through the dish's heaviness. However, this pairing is unconventional and might not appeal to all tastes.

Eggplant Parmesan with a Mediterranean Twist

For a new take on Eggplant Parmesan, consider adding roasted red peppers and olives to the dish. This Mediterranean twist pairs well with a Grenache or Syrah blend, offering a robust counterpoint to the added ingredients.


Pairing wine with Eggplant Parmesan is about finding a balance that complements the dish's rich and savory flavors. Whether you prefer congruent or complementary pairings, the key is to enhance the overall dining experience. Remember, personal preference is paramount, so don't hesitate to experiment with different wine options.