Spaghetti with White Wine Pasta Sauce

This Spaghetti and White Wine Pasta Sauce is delicious!  The sauce is a combination of olive oil, butter, Parmesan cheese and wine…and it’s surprisingly easy to make!

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This Spaghetti and White Wine Pasta Sauce is delicious!  The sauce is a combination of olive oil, butter, Parmesan cheese and wine...and it's surprisingly easy to make!

Did you know that New York is the #2 state for wine production in the US?  Granted, the #1 state (California…duh) produces 575 million gallons compared to New York which produces just 31 million gallons…but those 31 million gallons are enough to earn the #2 spot.  The Finger Lakes region of western New York is well known for its wineries, and a wine-tasting trip through the Finger Lakes is definitely worth putting on your vacation plans.  (Schedule that trip in late September or early October to take advantage of the fall foliage, too!)

This Spaghetti and White Wine Pasta Sauce is delicious!  The sauce is a combination of olive oil, butter, Parmesan cheese and wine...and it's surprisingly easy to make!

One of the more popular types of wine in New York state is ice wine.  Have you ever heard of ice wine?  The grapes for this sweet dessert wine are harvested while frozen.  Yup, the grapes are picked frozen.  The sugars in the grapes don’t freeze, but the water does, and this in turn yields a more concentrated (thus very sweet) grape juice.

Harvesting grapes for ice wine is a bit tricky as there is a short window for harvest and production.  Farmers want to leave their grapes on the vine until the first morning with freezing temperatures.  Then they need a lot of help fast to pick all of those frozen grapes.  If the freezing temperatures are delayed for whatever reason, then the grapes might rot on the vine.  And rotten grapes aren’t good for wine.  In fact, rotten grapes aren’t really good for anything!  The production difficulties (combined with the fact that you get less juice from frozen grapes) explains why ice wine can be quite expensive.  But then again, this wine is very sweet, so you only serve very small glasses.

This Spaghetti and White Wine Pasta Sauce is delicious!  The sauce is a combination of olive oil, butter, Parmesan cheese and wine...and it's surprisingly easy to make!

Spaghetti with White Wine Pasta Sauce

Circling back to today’s recipe, this Spaghetti with White Wine Pasta Sauce is an easy and delicious dinner.  In fact, the sauce is made while the pasta cooks, so you can have dinner on the table in 10 minutes (plus the time it takes to actually boil the water).  And for this white wine sauce, don’t use ice wine.

This Spaghetti and White Wine Pasta Sauce is delicious!  The sauce is a combination of olive oil, butter, Parmesan cheese and wine...and it's surprisingly easy to make!

What kind of white wine is good for pasta sauce?

Despite the introduction to ice wine at the top of this post, ice wine is not a good choice for pasta sauce.  The flavor is way too sweet, and that would yield a rather strange tasting pasta.  Plus, ice wine is expensive.  Save it for an after dinner drink!  Instead, a tasty White Wine Pasta Sauce uses a dry white wine like Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.  A good oak-y chardonnay is one of our favorite white wines, so I used that in this sauce.  Delicious!  And easy!

This Spaghetti and White Wine Pasta Sauce is delicious!  The sauce is a combination of olive oil, butter, Parmesan cheese and wine...and it's surprisingly easy to make!

Unlike an alfredo sauce which often includes cream (at least in the Americanized version), this White Wine Pasta Sauce doesn’t use cream.  Instead, a combination of extra-virgin olive oil, butter, Parmesan cheese and garlic come together to produce a delicious pasta sauce.  A handful of chopped parsley is often tossed in with the spaghetti, too.  And if you’re feeling a little spicy, add in a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. 

If you want to bulk this pasta up a bit, consider adding sliced grilled chicken breast, shrimp or perhaps scallops. Just toss the chicken/shrimp/scallops in dried herbs and a bit of lemon juice and sauté until fully cooked.

That’s all there is to this White Wine Pasta Sauce.  And it makes for one heck of a weeknight meal!  And, of course, I highly recommend enjoying this dish with a glass or two of wine.  Cheers!

Did you make this Spaghetti with White Wine Pasta Sauce at home?  Leave a comment with your thoughts!  Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).

Looking for more easy pasta recipes?  Check out these other favorites:

Creamy Pasta Alfredo with Asparagus and Crispy Prosciutto
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
Quick Caprese Pasta

This Spaghetti and White Wine Pasta Sauce is delicious!  The sauce is a combination of olive oil, butter, Parmesan cheese and wine...and it's surprisingly easy to make!

Spaghetti with White Wine Pasta Sauce

This Spaghetti and White Wine Pasta Sauce is delicious!  The sauce is a combination of olive oil, butter, Parmesan cheese and wine…and it’s surprisingly easy to make!
5 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 710kcal



  • Using a large stockpot, add salted water and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain and set aside, reserving ½ cup of pasta water.
  • Meanwhile, add olive oil to a large skillet and place over medium heat. Once hot, add garlic and {optional} crushed red pepper. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add wine, butter, salt and pepper; let simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and add cooked pasta, parsley and Parmesan cheese; toss until well combined.
  • If needed, stir in up to ½ cup reserved pasta water to loosen pasta.
This Spaghetti and White Wine Pasta Sauce is delicious!  The sauce is a combination of olive oil, butter, Parmesan cheese and wine...and it's surprisingly easy to make!

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  1. 5 stars
    I had no idea NY was #2 for wine production! I also have never heard of ice wine. I’d hate to be the one picking those grapes in those freezing temps! Give me the warmth and the sunshine. Love this pasta. I love super simple pasta and this looks amazing.

    1. Tell me about it! Picking those grapes for ice wine would be a challenge for sure. And the thing is they never know exactly when the harvest will come. It all depends on those temperatures overnight. Crazy stuff! Either way, thanks so much for the kind words about this pasta. It’s an easy one…and super tasty, too!

    1. This pasta dish really is nice and easy, but it’s got all kinds of flavor! And I’m glad you’ve come across rieslings from the Finger Lakes. That whole process of making ice wine is fascinating to me! Thanks, Mimi!

  2. Hi David! This would be a fabulous dinner for Valentine’s Day! Simple, yet elegant. A long time ago I watched a special on TV about ice wine and it was fascinating. It is a very precise process and timing is everything.

    1. You know, you’re totally right, Dorothy! This pasta would be a great Valentine’s Day meal. It’s easy, but still impressive…and of course it’s delicious, too. 🙂 Timing really is everything when it comes to making ice wine. That’s a tough job for sure! Thanks so much, my friend!

  3. 5 stars
    I was about to express my surprise that NY was #2 for wine in the US, then I remembered that your Canadian neighbor, Ontario, is #2 for wine in Canada after BC. Although, I must admit I don’t think I’ve ever had NY wine! Love this pasta recipe, simplicity and tasty in a dish. Also, happy that it only calls for 3/4 cup of wine, leaves plenty to pair with the dish!

    1. Interesting! Now it’s your turn to share some facts with me. I had no idea Ontario produced that much wine. It makes sense though since New York produces quite a bit of wine. Most New York wines are in the sweeter variety, though, and I just don’t love sweet wines. I’m more of an oaky chardonnay or a big, bold red kinda guy. Either way, the process for making ice wine is fascinating! Thanks for the kind words on this pasta recipe, too, my friend. Cheers!

  4. Ice wine or Eiswein as we call it in Germany makes a beautiful dessert wine and the good ones are expensive because of the labor and skills involved . A long time ago my father’s friend in the Rhine region used to make a wonderful Eiswein, I wish I had some bottles left. Your spaghetti looks delicious,

    1. You’re totally right, Gerlinde! Ice wines (Eiswein) can be really pricey. But once you understand the time and skill required to produce it, then it totally makes sense. Thanks so much for the kind words, my friend! 🙂

  5. Easy pasta dishes are one of my go-to weekday dinner ideas… love white wine sauce with spaghetti!

    I just looked up where Finger Lakes is in relation to where I am, and it’s a bit over 5 hours. I’m not much of an ice wine fan, though cold weather regions get points in my book for creativity with making ice wine!

    1. You totally need to put the Finger Lakes on your to-visit list for the Fall, Nicole! We’re about 3.5 hours away ourselves. It’s a wonderful place to visit, and there are wineries all over the place. Many of the wines (most) are of the sweeter varieties (like Rieslings) but it’s still a great place to go. If you do head that way, make sure to visit the town of Canandaigua and stop at NY Kitchen. (You might need reservations to eat, but they have a cool tasting room of NY wines and liquors.) Cheers!

  6. 5 stars
    I would never have guessed that NY was the #1 wine producer! It’s funny, we’re headed to the CA wine country tomorrow…now I have a fun fact to wow the winemakers with. (just kidding) I really am amazed though.

    We love this kind of simple, delicious pasta, David! Perfect for busy weeknights!

    1. Ah…New York is the #2 wine producer. California is BY FAR top on that list. But don’t go telling the winemakers in California that New York makes more…you’ll get run out of town! 🙂 On a side note, I’m so jealous that you’re heading to CA wine country. I love that area!

      Thanks so much for the kind words, my friend!

  7. 5 stars
    Thirty-one million gallons of wine is a lot of wine! Now I’m wondering how much wine the average American adult drinks a year. (I think my family probably ups the average significantly.) This pasta looks soooo good and I love how quickly it comes together!

    1. What? You can’t drink 31 million gallons of wine? 🙂 So I was curious about your comment, and it turns out the average person drink 10.25 liters of wine a year. Converted to gallons, that’s about 2.7 gallons. Seems like a lot when you put it that way, huh? But 31 million is still > 2.7. Thanks so much for the kind words, Kelsie!

  8. 5 stars
    I learned so much today – first off, New York is #2 on the wine production list?! I had no idea! Next time we are up there we definitely need to go on one of those wine tasting trips! And, I’m so fascinated by ice wine! I hadn’t heard of it before and now you bet am gonna be looking for it at every store I go to! And speaking of wine – this sounds absolutely delicious – we just might switch out pizza for Friday night and replace it with this!

    1. Yes! You guys should totally take a trip out to the Finger Lakes region of New York. It’s beautiful out there! Heck, I might even invite myself to tag along. 🙂 So ice wine is a pretty cool thing. I have no idea how someone figured out how to make it, though! It’s not my favorite as I don’t really love dessert wines, but it’s still pretty cool. Also, don’t go messing with my Friday night pizza! That’s sacred territory around these parts, Shashi! Haha.

  9. 5 stars
    I’m not a fan of ice wine because it’s too sweet, but dry wine like in this spaghetti? Yes please! Big lover of wine, especially with pasta, cheese, dessert, charcuterie…you get the picture 😉 Love a big plateful of this for dinner tonight…though, I bet it’d be awesome for Valentine’s day too!

    1. I’m right there with ya on the dry wine train, Dawn. A good oak-y chardonnay? Sign me up! This pasta is so darned tasty, too. You’re right that it would make a good Valentine’s Day dinner. Nice and easy, but still impressive…and it involves vino!

  10. That’s quite a gap between #1 and #2 spots haha. I do love ice wine (Niagara region in Ontario is a major Canadian producer), it’s a perfect dessert wine. I see a lot of “ice wine” flavoured things from hard candy and ice wine filled chocolate to tea (Chocolate is highly recommended!) I love wine-based pasta sauces too; however, I don’t cook with it often – wine rarely survives. I mean it cannot wait until I’m cooking pasta next time as it can get spoiled, right? 😉 Simple yet delicious version, David!

    1. It sure is quite the gap, Ben. I mean California pumps out wine like it’s nobody’s business. And that wine is delicious! The Finger Lakes is just south of the Niagara area, so it makes sense that ice wine is big there, too. Ice wine hard candy, though? Uh, I think I’ll pass. I hear ya on cooking with wine, but this recipe still leaves plenty in the bottle for you to enjoy! Cheers, my friend!

  11. 5 stars
    I love sauces like this because they not only taste divine they come together fast. I do a similar one, except with clams. As for ice wine, I have heard of it and right now I think any wine I set outside would quickly become ice wine. But I know that doesn’t count!

    1. You’re totally right, Abbe! This sauce is so darned quick and easy, but it tastes awesome and it’s pretty impressive to serve. Hah…I love your comment about ice wine. We have totally chilled a bottle of champagne before by shoving it in a snow bank outside. 🙂

  12. 5 stars
    I love the simplicity of this recipe. Few ingredients that pack in a whole lot of flavor is the best. I haven’t ever heard of ice wine and I like dessert wines, so I’ll keep that in mind. For after dinner, not in the pasta! 😉 Cheers!

    1. You know, I think that’s one of the reasons I love Italian food so much, Valentina. Recipes are typically fairly simple, so you just use the best quality ingredients you can afford. Nice and easy…and delicious! So if you like dessert wines, then you totally need to go look for some ice wine. It’s got such a fun story about how the grapes are harvested. Cheers, my friend!

  13. 5 stars
    My family in Australia used to own part of a vineyard and unfortunately I never got down there before they sold it. I remember they talked about having to get the grapes harvested before the frost came as it would ruin the grapes. What a lovely simple recipe and I bet it’s got a whole load of flavour. Yum!

    1. Wait, you have family in Australia? And they owned part of a vineyard!? I need to hear more about this story, Neil! That’s pretty cool. I love using wine when I’m cooking…and of course a little of that wine has to go to the chef, right? It helps the creative process in the kitchen! (At least that’s what I tell myself. Haha.)

  14. 31 million gallons? Wow, that’s a lot of wine. I never knew NY produced so much, even if as you may know I’m a New Yorker by birth. Anyway, I do enjoy pasta with wine sauce, though I usually make it with red wine. Turns the pasta an intriguing burgundy color… worth a try!

    1. 31 million gallons is indeed a lot of wine, Frank! But that just pales in comparison to California. Out of curiosity, I just looked up the amount of wine produced in Italy. It blows the US away! We all know Italian wine is among the best in the world, so I’m ok with that. Anywho, great tip on using red wine. I’ll have to try that next time I make this dish. In fact, I’ve got a bottle of red open in the kitchen right now!

  15. 5 stars
    David, for my plate you couldn’t serve a better pasta, fresh clean and simple. We often make a pasta such as this to have alongside a nice piece of grilled meat.
    IMHO, Finger Lakes wines are so underrated. When living in the Mid-West US, I would drive to Massena, NY through the Finge Lakes area every fall. I’d kill a few days making the journey, enjoying the colors and fine wine (but not while driving). I’d highly recommend the region to anyone who hasn’t visited.

    1. That’s exactly how I feel here, too, Ron! I love spending time in the kitchen creating crazy meals, but there’s something to be said for a nice, simply dish. This pasta recipe is just that! I just looked up Massena, NY…wow, that’s way up there! As in, you could probably throw a rock from Massena into Canada. That part of the state is beautiful, though. And the Finger Lakes region is absolutely worth the visit. I’ve been out there twice now (both in the fall), and I love that area! Cheers, my friend!

  16. the main beauty of this recipe is its easy to make and in few minutes we can make it! i’ve tried spaghetti with different vegies but not with wine pasta sause its unique i’m going to try it 🙂

  17. I agree, Mary! This recipe is super easy to make, but it’s a fun twist on the normal pasta recipes that we make on weeknights. Let me know what you think about this recipe after you make it! 🙂 Enjoy!

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