The Best Italian Wine Pairings for Your Holiday Meals

Italian wine pairings pouring merlot

Knowing the best Italian wine pairings for your holiday meals guarantees a delicious dinner.

At Giolitti Deli, we believe any day is a great day to pair a delicious Italian meal with a glass of wine to complement it. The next couple of weeks will give you plenty of opportunities to host meals with your friends and family and to open up a few bottles of wine to enjoy with your fine Italian dining. If you want to make sure you are selecting the best Italian wine pairings for your dishes, read our guide below for which wines complement which food most effectively. 

Italian Wine Pairings for Appetizers

The best wine to pair with appetizers is prosecco, the sparkling wine. Or, you can serve it by itself after chilling it as you would Champagne. The drink goes exceptionally well with cheese and fruit appetizers.

How to Dress Up Your Prosecco

You can create a “Poinsettia Prosecco” by combining two ounces of Prosecco, with two ounces of vodka and four ounces of cranberry juice. Mix it, and you have a seasonally red drink. At Giolitti Deli, we sell hibiscus flowers, which are a subtly aromatic addition to any glass of bubbly.

Wine Pairings for Seafood 

White wines are the best Italian wine pairings for any seafood or fish-based dish. You can try a Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, or Vernaccia di San Gimignano. 

Veal, Chicken, or Pasta in Tomato Sauce

For these lighter meats and flavors, the best Italian wine pairings are light-bodied or medium-bodied reds. These wines include Barbera, Bardolino, Chianti, Merlot, d’Abruzzo, Rosso di Montalcino, and much more. 

Red Meat and Aged Cheeses

For heavier meats and strong flavors that come with aged Italian cheeses, the best wine pairings are full-bodied red wines. Amarone, Barbaresco, or Cabernet Sauvignon would all be suitable Italian wine pairings for your hearty Italian dish. The velvet, dry, and robust flavors that come with these full-bodied reds complement the equally full-bodied flavor of red meat meals. 


When serving desserts, the best Italian wine pairings will be any sweet or sparkling wines. Asti Spumante, Moscato d’Asti, or Vin Santo are all great selections. The combinations of fruit notes and vanilla, honey, or cinnamon notes make these wines a perfect complement to mascarpone-based desserts or as a dessert all by itself.

Authentic Italian Cuisine From Giolitti Deli

Giolitti Deli is a full-service Delicatessen in Annapolis, MD, specializing in authentic Italian cuisine. Founded in 1992, we use the freshest ingredients to make time-honed recipes from scratch, with no MSG or preservatives. We believe in real food and offer many healthy options, including vegetarian and vegan menu items. At Giolitti Deli, we make our own sauces, mozzarella, grilled and roasted vegetables, bread, pizza dough, and desserts, and our sandwiches, salads, pasta, pizza, and entrees are made to order. Owner Mary Giolitti has combined her passion for great food and fine wine to offer Annapolis a true taste of Italy!

Team members who also make the business possible include Manager Kathy Hunter, Manager and Catering Director Cheryl Molesky, Head Baker Porfirio Diaz, Chef Alfredo Escobar, and Deli Manager Noe Merino. To contact us, please visit our contact page or give us a call at 410.266.8600. Also, be sure to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and our blog!

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