Duane McLaughlin

Finding the Perfect Wine for Roman Cacio e Pepe

Uncovering the ideal wine to pair with the Roman classic Cacio e Pepe.

A dish of Roman Cacio e Pepe with a chosen wine pairing

Basics to Pairing Wine With Cacio e Pepe

As a general rule, Cacio e Pepe, with its rich, creamy texture and peppery notes, pairs wonderfully with wines that can complement its simplicity and enhance its flavors. A good wine pairing for this classic Italian dish should balance the creamy richness of the cheese and the sharpness of the black pepper.

General Tips for Pairing Wine with Cacio e Pepe

When pairing wine with Cacio e Pepe, consider wines that have enough acidity to cut through the richness of the cheese. A medium-bodied white wine or a light red with moderate acidity can be an excellent choice. Avoid overly oaky or tannic wines as they might overpower the delicate balance of flavors in the dish.

Specific Pairings for Cacio e Pepe

Let's dive into some specific wine pairings for Cacio e Pepe:

  • Italian White Wine (€15-€30): A crisp Italian white like a Verdicchio or a Fiano can be a perfect match. Their bright acidity and citrus notes can complement the creamy cheese beautifully. Example: Fiano di Avellino, Terredora di Paolo 2019.
  • Light Italian Red Wine (€20-€35): A light red like a Barbera d'Alba offers fresh acidity and subtle fruitiness, which can nicely contrast the richness of the dish. Example: Barbera d'Alba, Pio Cesare 2018.

Can you drink bold red wine with Cacio e Pepe?

While it's not traditional, a bold red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Syrah could be paired with Cacio e Pepe, especially if you enjoy wines with more body and tannins. However, these might overpower the subtle flavors of the dish, so it's a choice for those who prefer a strong wine presence in their pairing.

Cacio e Pepe with a Truffle Twist

When it comes to Italian cuisine, the simple and original recipes are always the best, but sometimes you want something new. Adding truffles or truffle oil can elevate this classic dish. Use freshly shaved truffles or a drizzle of high-quality truffle oil to add an earthy depth to the dish, pairing it with a Nebbiolo or an aged Chardonnay to complement these luxurious flavors.


Pairing wine with Cacio e Pepe is all about finding a balance that complements the rich, creamy cheese and the sharp bite of black pepper. Whether you choose a crisp Italian white, a light red, or even venture into bolder reds, the key is to enjoy the interplay of flavors between the dish and the wine. Remember, personal preference plays a significant role, so feel free to explore different wine options and discover your perfect match.