Pair Sangiovese wines with classic Italian dishes: tomato-based sauces, hearty stews, earthy flavors, roasted vegetables, and herbal rubs all work well with this medium to full-bodied Italian red wine. Sangiovese’s higher acid levels and bright red fruit will complement all of these flavors.
Before you get started, check out:
Sangiovese Food Pairing Guide: Quick and Easy Dishes
Pairing food and wine doesn’t need to be difficult. All wines come ready to pour and enjoy, so the only thing you really need to do is decide how you’re going to prepare your next bottle. Here’s a list of 13 dishes quick and easy dishes that will pair with your next bottle of Sangiovese
1 Classic Margherita Pizza – Vegetarian
- Tip: Leverage the work of others by outsourcing this pairing – grab a takeout pizza or pre-made frozen for a no-fuss Friday night pairing.
Why it’s a good pairing: Sangiovese’s vibrant acidity and red fruit notes perfectly complement the tangy tomatoes, while the wine’s medium body and smooth tannins cut through the creamy mozzarella. This is a solid pairing. Add some red pepper flakes and fresh parmesan cheese to up your pizza game.
2 Spaghetti Bolognese
- Tip: Let the Bolognese sauce simmer for a longer time to develop rich flavors. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or the cheap powdery stuff – whatever you have on hand).
Why it’s a good pairing: Tomato sauce has acid. Foods with acid work well with Sangiovese, which also tends to have higher acid levels. You get the herbal notes in the sauce from classic Italian herbs – basil, thyme, oregano – these marry with some Sangiovese’s undertones. Meat is always a winner with red wines. It brings protein and fat, which cut through tannins.
Helpful Tip: Check out this 30-second tasting tip on how to taste red wine tannins.
3 Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil – Vegetarian
- Tip: Rub the toasted bread with garlic before adding the tomato topping for an extra burst of flavor.
Why it’s a good pairing: Sangiovese’s bright acidity and red berry nuances amplify the fresh, vibrant flavors of the tomato and basil bruschetta. Savoring this combination transports me to a sunlit Tuscan terrace, basking in the golden glow of the sunset while enjoying life’s simple pleasures.
4 Caprese Salad – Vegetarian
- Tip: Drizzle a high-quality balsamic glaze or reduction over the salad to enhance the taste of tomatoes and mozzarella.
Why it’s a good pairing: The gentle tannins of Sangiovese provide a soft backbone to the creamy mozzarella, and the wine’s cherry-like fruitiness accentuates the sweetness of the tomatoes. Paired together, it’s a delightful union that transports me to a Mediterranean escape, where the sea breeze caresses my skin as I indulge in this delightful Caprese symphony.
5 Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
- Tip: Marinate the chicken in Caesar dressing before grilling to infuse it with extra flavor. Top with homemade croutons for added crunch.
Why it’s a good pairing: Sangiovese’s bright red cherry and strawberry will act as a counterpoint to the smoky char of the grilled chicken while its hints of dried herbs harmonize with the Caesar dressing. If you’re feeling particularly pressed for time (or lazy), grab a takeout salad from your corner market or fast food restaurant of choice.
6 Roasted Vegetable Panini – Vegetarian
- Tip: Brush the bread with garlic-infused olive oil before grilling for a delicious aroma and taste.
Why it’s a good pairing: Sangiovese’s medium body and well-rounded structure work well with the natural sugars brought out by roasting vegetables, while its subtle spiciness echoes the warm, toasted notes of the panini. If you just go with roasted vegetables and skip the bread, that works, too!
7 Pesto Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes – Vegetarian
- Tip: Toast the pine nuts before making pesto for a nuttier and more aromatic sauce.
Why it’s a good pairing: Again with the earthy notes here. Seeing a theme?Sangiovese’s vibrant acidity and red fruit flavors interlace seamlessly with the nutty, herbaceous notes of the pesto. Use pre-made pesto and add some fresh baby tomatoes if you don’t have sun-dried tomatoes. Also – drizzle with extra-extra-super virgin-never-saw-a-man-in-her-life olive oil before serving. Yum.
8 Sausage and Mushroom Risotto
- Tip: Use a mixture of wild mushrooms for a more complex and earthy flavor in the risotto.
Why it’s a good pairing: Sangiovese’s one of the brilliant red wines to pair with risotto (along with Pinot Noir and Tempranillo), so don’t think too hard about this one. The only real challenge here is that it’s more time consuming to make a homemade risotto. If you’re a working parent thin on time, add your can of cream of mushroom sauce and sausage to your rice, pour yourself a glass of Sangiovese wine, and give yourself the grace of making it through the day.
9 Margherita Flatbread – Vegetarian
- Tip: Drizzle a balsamic reduction on top of the flatbread after baking to elevate the taste.
Why it’s a good pairing: It’s a flatbread with a drizzle of dressing. This is easy. (Toast it before serving).
10 Rustic Tuscan White Bean Soup – Vegan
- Tip: Let the soup simmer on low heat for an extended period to allow the flavors to meld. Add a generous drizzle of high-quality extra-virgin olive oil just before serving to increase mouthfeel and richness.
Why it’s a good pairing: Sangiovese’s balanced acidity and red fruit notes add a counterpoint to the earthy flavors of Tuscan White Bean Soup. The wine’s acid will lift up the beans and vegetables for that homemade-comfort food feeling. And I love soup.
11 Tomato and Spinach Penne Pasta – Vegan
- Tip: Finish the dish with a sprinkle of freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese for a salty, savory kick. Or asiago. Or that cheap powdery stuff that comes in those green shaker bottles. It all works.
Why it’s a good pairing: This is a quick and easy dish dressed up to be sexy. Anything with spinach gets an extra bonus point for being a superfood. You can use frozen spinach if you don’t have access to fresh spinach or want to keep this one in your pantry for last-minute pseudo-decadence (I do).
12 Italian Stuffed Bell Peppers
- Tip: Mix some Italian herbs and breadcrumbs into the filling for extra depth of flavor and a better texture.
Why it’s a good pairing: Stuffed peppers and Sangiovese are a winning pairing because of the herbal earthy notes and sweet sugars brought out by roasting the peppers, and the acid and tannin structure of the wine. I’d pair this up any day of the week. Note – some people (maybe you) have a personal vendetta against stuffed peppers. That’s cool. Skip this one.
13 Italian Deli Sandwich
- Tip: I 100% approve of takeout deli sandwiches when meal planning and wine pairing. Deli sandwiches are such a missed opportunity for wine pairing.
Why it’s a good pairing: You don’t have to make anything yourself (okay – you can, but you don’t HAVE to). Go for a classic Italian sub or deli sandwich. Opt for rich provolone, arugula, and Italian salami. The flavors harmonize themselves. All you have to do is uncork the wine.
Final Thoughts – 100% Sangiovese Food Pairing?
Sangiovese wines are an Italian classic, pair them with traditional Italian cuisine rich with tomato-based sauces, herbs, earthy notes, garlic, and vinegarettes for a winning combination. Whether you choose homemade dishes, take-out or frozen, you can’t go wrong with these flavor combinations when pairing Sangiovese wine.
Remember, wine pairings are about creating synergy with different flavors. Enjoy!
Thirsty for More?
Check out how to host a DIY tasting for beginners here.
And here’s a list of cold appetizers for wine tasting.
Got leftover wine? Here’s how long leftover wine is good for (and how to make it last longer).