Duane McLaughlin

Finding the Perfect Wine for Spaghetti Carbonara

Guiding you through the best wine selections to pair with Spaghetti Carbonara.

A plate of Spaghetti Carbonara with a suitable wine pairing

Basics to Pairing Wine With Spaghetti Carbonara

As a general rule, Spaghetti Carbonara, with its creamy sauce, smoky pancetta, and rich egg yolk, pairs wonderfully with wines that offer a balance of acidity, minerality, and subtle fruitiness. The ideal wine should cut through the creaminess while complementing the savory flavors of the dish.

General Tips for Pairing Wine with Spaghetti Carbonara

When pairing wine with Spaghetti Carbonara, focus on the dish's creamy texture and savory flavors. Wines with good acidity and minerality can cut through the richness, while those with a hint of fruitiness can complement the salty pancetta. Light to medium-bodied white wines usually work best, but lighter reds can also be a pleasant surprise.

Specific Pairings for Spaghetti Carbonara

Here are some specific wine pairings that harmonize beautifully with a Carbonara meal:

  • Gavi di Gavi (€15-€30): This crisp white wine, like La Scolca Gavi di Gavi, with its bright acidity and citrus notes, complements the creamy sauce without overpowering it.
  • Pinot Grigio (€10-€25): A light and refreshing Pinot Grigio, such as Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, offers a delightful balance to the dish's richness.

Can you drink red wine with Spaghetti Carbonara?

While white wines are typically recommended for Spaghetti Carbonara, a light red wine like a young Sangiovese or a Pinot Noir can be a delightful pairing. These wines, with their higher acidity and lighter body, can complement the creamy texture without overwhelming the dish's flavors.

Spaghetti Carbonara with a Vegetarian Twist

For a modern variation, try a vegetarian Carbonara with smoked tempeh or grilled zucchini as a substitute for pancetta. This lighter version pairs beautifully with a vibrant and aromatic white wine like Vermentino, which brings out the smokiness and complements the creamy sauce.


In summary, pairing wine with Spaghetti Carbonara is about finding a balance that complements the creamy, savory elements of the dish. While crisp, acidic white wines are often a safe choice, don't be afraid to experiment with lighter reds. The key is to choose a wine that you enjoy and that enhances the overall flavors of the dish, making your dining experience even more delightful.