Duane McLaughlin

The Art of Pairing: Wine Selections for Risotto

Mastering the art of pairing wines with various types of Risotto dishes.

A bowl of Risotto with a complementary wine glass

Basics to Pairing Wine With Risotto

Pairing wine with Risotto offers a unique opportunity to enhance this classic Italian dish's creamy and often rich flavors. As a general rule, Risotto pairs wonderfully with wines that can complement its creamy texture and the flavors of its various ingredients, ranging from light white wines for delicate seafood risottos to fuller-bodied whites or light reds for richer variations.

General Tips for Pairing Wine with Risotto

When pairing wine with Risotto, consider the specific ingredients and flavors of the risotto. For lighter, seafood-based risottos, opt for crisp, acidic white wines. For heartier versions with mushrooms or meat, consider richer whites or light to medium-bodied reds. The key is to match the wine's body and flavor profile with that of the risotto without overpowering it.

Specific Pairings for Risotto

Here are some specific wine pairings for Risotto:

  • Gavi di Gavi (€15-€25): A light and crisp white, ideal for seafood or vegetable risottos, La Scolca Gavi di Gavi is a classic choice.
  • Barolo (€30-€50): A more robust red, perfect for mushroom or truffle risottos, Fontanafredda Barolo offers a complementary richness.

Can you drink bold red wines with Risotto?

While bold red wines are generally not recommended with delicate risottos, they can be paired with heartier, meat-based versions. A wine like Amarone, known for its richness and depth, could complement a robust risotto with bold flavors, although it might be overpowering for lighter versions.

Risotto with a Global Twist

For an innovative take on Risotto, try incorporating ingredients like saffron and chorizo for a Spanish twist. This version pairs well with a Tempranillo, offering a harmonious balance between the dish's robust flavors and the wine's spicy, fruity profile.


Pairing wine with Risotto is about complementing the dish's texture and flavor complexities. Whether opting for congruent or complementary pairings, the key is to enhance the risotto's inherent qualities. Personal preference is critical, so enjoy the process of discovering the perfect wine for your favorite Risotto variation.