Cooler weather stimulates cravings for larger dishes, like lasagna. If you don’t have time to make one, buy a frozen lasagna to cook at home. Paired with a green salad, crusty bread, and the right wine, it can anchor an easy but indulgent weekday meal or stress-free dinner.
Recently, The morning news from Dallas a panel of wines explored food and wine pairings for a lasagna from Jimmy’s Food Store. The East Dallas Italian Market has a loyal following for its meat-based version: four layers of tender pasta sandwiched with thin marinara ribbons, crumbled meatballs, melted mozzarella, and a bit of ricotta. , all topped with Jimmy’s Mild Italian Sausage. Lasagna comes in two sizes: small ($ 17.99), serving 2-3 servings, and large ($ 37.99) serving 6-8.
We tasted 20 wines under $ 25 with the lasagna and found seven great pairings, including some really good deals. One of our picks sells for under $ 10 and we were able to find all of our winning matches under $ 20 (prices vary by store). If you’re willing to spend more than $ 25, you’ll undoubtedly find Chianti Classico wines that shine with this lasagna as well.
Our sommelier panelists were Paul Botamer (of Fearing’s at the Ritz Carlton), Jeff Gregory, (operating partner of 55-Seventy, a private wine club and warehouse opened in 2022); and Jennifer Uygur (co-owner and beverage manager of Restaurant Lucia). Read on to find out which affordable wines our panel enjoyed with Jimmy’s Meat Lasagna.
Molo 8 Lambrusco Mantovano, NV
A sparkling red wine with lasagna? Yes please! This dry and sparkling Lambrusco brings a refreshing counterpoint to the richness of the dish. “It’s frizzy, so it’s very cleansing on the palate –– and very good with lasagna,” Botamer said. Gregory added that the wine had enough length to handle the dish. Lasagna is one of many foods – like cold cuts or salty cheese – that pair well with this fruity, sparkling red.
$ 15.99 to $ 17.99 at Jimmy’s, Pogo’s, Dallas Fine Wines, Momo’s (available at retail), Corner Wines (in Plano), McKinney Wine Merchant, and The Downing Bottles and Bites (in Rockwall).
Cantina Zaccagnini “Tralcetto” Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, DOC, 2018
Despite explosive growth since its founding in 1978, the Cantina Zaccagnini family property has always maintained the good quality of this affordable wine. Made with 100% Montepulciano grapes from the winery’s 375-acre estate, this medium-bodied wine has supple tannins and a good balance of fruit and acidity. Panelists enjoyed the wine’s sweet black plum fruit. “It’s rich and plum, and provides a good contrast to lasagna,” Uygur said.
$ 13.49 to $ 15.99 at Jimmy’s, Sigel’s, Trader Joe’s on Greenville, Market Street, McKinney Wine Merchant and Total Wine (Plano, Allen and Lewisville stores).
Brancaia Tre Rosso Toscana IGT, 2016 (Panel choice)
Blend of 80% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine over-delivers for its price and enhances all the flavors of lasagna. “On the palate, it’s more salty, with herbal notes. Pairing makes you pay more attention to the meat, herbs and spices of the lasagna, ”Uygur said. Gregory attributed the herbaceous undertones of the wine, which enhanced the sauce, to “the skillful use of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon”. “It’s delicious, with great complexity. You’ll want another drink. If someone gave it to me as a gift, I’d love to. It’s hard to beat for the price, Botamer said.
$ 19.99 to $ 24.99 at Jimmy’s, Central Market on Lovers Lane, McKinney Wine Merchant and Schrick’s Liquors.
Bruno Giacosa Dolcetto d’Alba DOC 2018
Panelists praised this great weeknight lasagna wine. “It’s very accessible, but there is enough acidity to balance the fruit. It has nice fruit, but it’s not jammy, ”Uygur said.
Gregory praised the wine’s “compelling nose” and Botamer appreciated its floral notes, which give it complexity.
$ 24.99 at Sigel’s, Eataly, Pogo’s and Total Wine in Preston Village (Plano North).
Ruffino “Il Ducale” Toscana IGT, 2018
Composed of Sangiovese, Syrah and Merlot, the spice and spice notes of this modern Tuscan blend have enhanced the flavor of the lasagna. “The black fruits and spices of the Syrah counterbalance the Sangiovese, which makes it a good pairing,” said Gregory. Botamer loved the dried cherries and the spicy quality of the wine, which enhanced the sweetness of the Italian sausage. “It’s a pleasure for those who gravitate towards New World style wines,” said Uygur.
$ 17.99 at Sigel’s, Goody Goody on Greenville, Tom Thumb (Lovers Lane and Preston-Forest locations) and McKinney Wine Merchant.
Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva, DOC, 2018
Cannonau is the local name for the Grenache that blooms in the Italian island of Sardinia. Italian researchers believe the grape could originate from the island. “It’s soft, velvety, and delicious,” Botamer said. Uygur noted that the lasagna enhanced the herbaceous quality of the wine. “It’s like a house wine in a trattoria in Italy. It’s intimate, and lasagna is family friendly – they make a great pair, ”she said.
$ 16.99 to $ 17.88 at Central Market, Jimmy’s, Spec’s and Total Wine.
Cune Rioja Crianza, DOC, 2017, Spain
Made with 100% tempranillo, this Spanish wine is a natural for lasagna and pasta with meat sauce, and it’s also exceptional value. “It’s very well done – delicious, with a great balance,” Botamer said. Uygur liked the refreshing quality of the wine. “It reads lighter and cleaner than our other favorites,” she said. “It highlights the meat and doesn’t drown out the lasagna,” added Gregory.
$ 9.47 to $ 13.57 at Total Wine (Park Lane and Plano stores), Central Market, Spec’s, most Whole Foods Market stores, and most Costco stores.
Tina Danze is a freelance writer from Dallas.