Duane McLaughlin

The Art of Matching Wine with Spaghetti alla Gricia

Mastering the pairing of wines with the flavors of Spaghetti alla Gricia.

Spaghetti alla Gricia with a well-suited wine pairing

Basics to Pairing Wine With Spaghetti alla Gricia

As a general rule, Spaghetti alla Gricia, with its combination of savory guanciale and sharp pecorino cheese, pairs best with wines that offer a balance of acidity and minerality. The ideal wine should cut through the richness of the cheese and the saltiness of the guanciale.

General Tips for Pairing Wine with Spaghetti alla Gricia

When pairing wine with Spaghetti alla Gricia, focus on the dish's salty and rich flavors. A wine with good acidity is key to balance the fattiness of the guanciale, and a touch of minerality can complement the sharpness of the pecorino. Light to medium-bodied white wines are typically the best choices, but lighter reds can also pair well, especially if they have a bright acidity to them.

Specific Pairings for Spaghetti alla Gricia

Here are some specific wine pairings that harmonize beautifully with a Spaghetti alla Gricia meal:

  • Frascati Superiore (€10-€20): A crisp white wine like Fontana Candida Frascati Superiore, with its bright acidity and citrus notes, complements the richness of the dish.
  • Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (€15-€25): A light and fruity Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, such as Masciarelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, can provide a pleasant contrast to the savory flavors.

Can you drink red wine with Spaghetti alla Gricia?

While white wines are traditionally recommended for Spaghetti alla Gricia, 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 richness of the dish without overwhelming its flavors.

Spaghetti alla Gricia with a Vegetarian Twist

For a modern variation, try a vegetarian Spaghetti alla Gricia with smoked tempeh or grilled mushrooms as a substitute for guanciale. This lighter version pairs beautifully with a vibrant and aromatic white wine like Verdicchio, which brings out the smokiness and complements the sharp cheese.


In conclusion, selecting wine to pair with Spaghetti alla Gricia is about finding a balance that complements the dish's rich and salty flavors. 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.