Does Moscato Pair With Lasagna?


While there are no hard-and-fast rules about pairing wine with food, typically a sweet wine, such as moscato, does not work well as a wine to drink with dinner, nor with rich foods such as lasagna. However, there may be exceptions depending on the type of moscato and the producers. Unless you are absolutely in love with moscato, save it for dessert or for a light, summertime drink where you can really enjoy it, and make another choice for lasagna.

Rules of the Road

  • As a general rule, the rich cheesiness of lasagna needs a more acidic wine to balance the fats and oil in the cheese. After a bite of lasagna, you want a sharper wine with a hint of bitterness. Moscato has acidic and citrus overtones, but not enough to cut through lasagna's rich flavors, and its sweetness gives too great a contrast with the savory flavors in lasagna. That said, the Screaming Eagle winery in California produces a dry moscato with a crispness that just might work with lasagna.

Enjoy Your Moscato

  • "Frizzante" moscatos, meaning those with small, light bubbles such as Moscato d'Asti, work most reliably with fruity desserts, where they highlight the flavors in the fruit and provide enough crispness and effervescence to take the cloying edge off the sugars in the wine and in the dessert. On the other hand, hip-hop rapper Drake suggested "lobster and shrimp and a glass of moscato" in his 2009 mixed tape.

Go Team Red

  • Red wines are traditionally associated with Italian food and with lasagna in particular because they have acidity to cut through rich cheese and meats and just the right amount of tannins to balance the sweetness in tomato sauce. Classic choices include any Chianti, Beaujolais, pinot noir or merlot. However, if you serve a mushroom or seafood lasagna with a white sauce instead of a tomato sauce, a white wine, such as pinot gris or chardonnay, would work better than a red wine.

Break All the Rules

  • Because lasagna and moscato have flavor variations, pairing the two might work in some cases. The only way to know for sure is to experiment with different lasagna recipes and different moscato wines. If you find a combination that makes you want to eat another bite of lasagna after taking a sip of moscato, and vice-versa, then the combination works.

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