Best Wine with Pesto

I’m a big fan of pesto, especially when it’s made with fresh basil and pine nuts. If you’re like me, then you’re probably always on the lookout for new ways to enjoy your favorite sauce. I’ve found that a great way to kick things up is to pair it with wine. After all, wine has the ability to complement both savory and sweet flavors, and pesto is definitely both.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best wines for pairing with pesto.

Try a light, young Vermentino

If you’re looking to try something new, try a light and young Vermentino. The grape variety hails from Italy and produces an aromatic wine that’s best enjoyed with pesto. The white wine has notes of stone fruit, citrus, and herbs—it will pair perfectly with the salty flavors of the basil-based sauce.

Vermentino is great for pairing with lighter pesto because it masks any overpowering flavors without being too heavy or overpowering itself. You can also pair this wine with seafood dishes that use olive oil as a marinade or basting sauce (think sautéed shrimp or scallops).

If you want to get fancy, try adding some shaved pecorino in addition to your pesto! This will give it an extra kick of cheese flavor without making it overpowered by saltiness from cured meats like pancetta or prosciutto di parma.

Some good examples of Vermentino to try:

Quartomoro di Sardegna ‘Q Orriu un anno dopo’ Vermentino di Sardegna

Sardinian wine label Quartomoro is the brainchild of winemaker Giovanni Risso, who has been making wine in Italy for over 30 years. His wines are all produced from estate-grown grapes and bottled on-site at his winery in Orrio, a small town near Cagliari. The Vermentino di Sardegna is light, crisp, and refreshing with tropical fruits like pineapple and citrus flavors. It pairs well with seafood dishes that use olive oil as a marinade or basting sauce (think sautéed shrimp or scallops).

Antonella Corda Vermentino di Sardegna

In the glass, this wine is pale yellow with a hint of green. It has aromas of ripe pineapple and lemon zest, with hints of white flowers and herbs. On the palate, it’s clean and crisp with notes of grapefruit and white stone fruit. Perfect with your pesto sauce.

Sella & Mosca ‘Ambat’ Vermentino di Sardegna

The grapes grown in Ambat’s vineyards are harvested by hand from their own plots. They have been cultivated on calcareous clayey soil, which has contributed to enhancing the typical and fruity notes of Vermentino wine, the most representative white grape variety born in Sardinia. The vineyards of Sella & Mosca face northwest, the source of breezes and strong gusts carrying salt-rich moisture from the nearby sea. This wine offers a complex array of flavors: white flowers, exotic fruit, and almonds. But it is also crisp on the tongue with a marine-like saltiness at the end.

Pesto pairs well with grassy, young Sauvignon Blanc

Light, crisp Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with pesto for summertime picnics. The grassy notes of the wine complement the aromatic basil in your pesto and make it even more flavorful.

Sauvignon Blanc is also a great option for pairing with seafood such as shrimp or scallops, as well as vegetables like grilled vegetables or roasted potatoes.

Some recommended Sauvignon Blancs:

Bread & Butter North Coast Sauvignon Blanc

This Sauvignon Blanc has bright aromas of lemon zest and hints of tropical fruit, lively flavors with citrus notes followed by a rich texture and a clean finish.

2021 Decoy California Sauvignon Blanc

Aromas of pineapple, lemon, and green apple lead the way for this crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Underneath those fresh scents is a layer of lime zest that adds another exciting dimension to what you taste, which lingers in your mouth long after each sip.

Lieu Dit Sauvignon Blanc 2017

This Sauvignon Blanc has aromas of ripe kiwi, lemon, and lime accented by hints of green apples. The palate is full and creamy with a rich mouthfeel that is balanced by crisp acidity.

A delicate, aromatic French white like Muscadet is a great pick for pesto.

Muscadet is a white wine from France that has a refreshing acidity and light body. The best Muscadet will have crisp, minerally notes that complement the basil and garlic in pesto. These wines are great with seafood but can also be paired with other Mediterranean dishes like fish stew or grilled swordfish.

Must try Muscadets with your pesto dish:

Clos des Bouquinardieres Muscadet Gabbro

If your budget will stretch, the Clos des Bouquinardieres Gabbro is the Muscadet to get. This wine is made from grapes grown on the soil of an ancient volcano. The volcanic rock imparts a mineral-rich character to this wine, which pairs beautifully with pesto. It is expensive though.

Stephane Orieux Muscadet Clos de la Coudray

Much easier on the pocket but still a fantastic Muscadet. This is a great alternative to the much more expensive Gabbro. The wine has a nice balance between acidity and minerality, which makes it a great pairing for pesto. It also pairs well with fish dishes like sea bass or salmon.

Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Sur Lie ‘La Pepie’

The floral and fresh qualities of this wine make it a perfect choice for an aperitif or as an accompaniment to shellfish. It works well with pesto dishes.

If you’re looking for a red to pair with pesto, consider Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a delicious choice for pairing with pesto. It’s an elegant red wine with notes of berries and cherries, and it has a light body. To make the most of this red’s qualities, serve it at room temperature or slightly cooler. It will pair well with pasta dishes in which pesto plays a prominent role, such as gnocchi with pine nuts and sage (a classic combination) or tortellini in tomato sauce (a modern twist).

Three fine Pinot Noir to look for:

2016 Domaine Lecheneaut Les Pruliers

This is towards the more expensive end of the price range but no doubt this is an exceptional wine. Les Pruliers has a strong color. The wine offers aromas of fresh red fruit, wild prunes, and licorice. As it ages, it adds depth and roundness. It has aromas of cocoa, and smoked meat.

2019 Fanny Sabre Bourgogne Rouge

More affordable is the Fanny Sabre Bourgogne Rouge. This is an organic pinot noir that’s delicate, easy to drink, and naturally delicious. It has a fresh, crunchy, summer pudding fruit flavor with crisp acidity and just lip-smacking moreishness. And because it’s low in sulfur, it’s great for summer or winter drinking.

2018 Corazza Pinot Nero

At the lower end of the price range is the Pinot Nero. This is a unique wine from Friuli, a region in northeastern Italy. It’s made from the pinot noir grape and is unlike other pinot noirs you might be used to. It’s light, bright, and easy to drink.

Conclusion

There are many excellent wines that go with pesto.

Try a light, young Vermentino if you like the flavor of basil. The grassy, tropical fruit flavors of Sauvignon Blanc pair perfectly with pesto as well. If you prefer a more delicate white wine, try Muscadet or Pinot Noir.

So, next time you’re thinking about what to drink with your pesto, don’t feel like you have to stick to one kind of wine. The beauty of pairing is that there are so many options out there. Whether you prefer red or white wine, dry or sweet, we hope this article has given you some ideas for how best to pair your favorite dish.

Want to make your own pesto? Take a look at this recipe from simplyrecipes.com. You can’t beat making your own.

If you enjoyed this, check out my other posts on the Best Wine with Gnocchi and Best Wine for Linguine and Clams.