Top pairings | The best food pairings for Chianti and other Tuscan sangiovese

Top pairings

The best food pairings for Chianti and other Tuscan sangiovese

There’s a lot of talk about how the wines of a region tend to match its food but that seems truer of Tuscany than almost anywhere else.

The traditional reds of the region - almost all based on sangiovese - work so effortlessly well that the locals barely bother with anything else, drinking them right through the meal (well up to the point they switch to vin santo …)

Because of its marked acidity, particularly when young, Chianti pairs brilliantly with tomato sauces, pizza and pasta bakes such as lasagne but it’s also a great wine with a simple grill or roast or even (gasp!) a burger. Here are my favourite pairings:

Basic or youthful chiantis

Crostini, especially topped with mushrooms or chicken livers

Pasta with a meat or tomato sauce e.g. spaghetti bolognese, spaghetti and meatballs and even meatloaf

Baked pasta dishes such as lasagne


Grilled cheese sandwiches

Bean or chickpea soup, flavoured with rosemary

Dishes with salsa verde - even fish like this roast cod dish

Salumi especially salami with fennel

Pecorino cheese

Tuscan olive oils

Better quality aged or 'riserva' chiantis

Roast lamb with rosemary and garlic

Roast or braised veal, especially with mushrooms

Tuscan-style sausages and beans

Game, especially pheasant and wild boar

Bistecca alla Fiorentina, T bone or ribeye steaks

Burgers (surprisingly, maybe but think of the tomatoes and cheese … )

See also What type of food pairs with Brunello di Montalcino?

Photo © Emiliano Migliorucci at

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