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What to pair with for a ragu bolognese?

My Dh is making a very robust and tasty bolognese for a dinner party. I am supposed to buy the wine (which is funny). So I thought I would ask some fellow chowhounds, what would you drink with this? And what would be a good desert wine?

Thanks :)

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  1. I had a lovely lacrima di morro d'alba red last week with a hearty bolognese sauce. I would recommend one bottle of this to "wow" your guests as it has a very strong rose aroma. It is a relatively unknown grape in the US, but is really starting to make an appearance on a lot of finely tuned wine menus. It's really lovely and goes great with very robust foods, including believe it or not, bbq.

    1 Reply
    1. I recently prepared the Bolognese Ragu recipe from Saveur magazine; a meat sauce without tomatoes, it was rich and meaty with no acidity. It contained a white wine that also paired well with the final result. I used the 2006 Tablas Creek Vermentino. The crisp citrus minerality cut through the rich meat sauce like a cool breeze on a hot afternoon.
      The pairing will depend, then, on which style is being prepared.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Phood

        Our sauce does have tomatos...

        1. re: jenwee

          Read this thread that came back alive last month -- :
          Marcella's Bolognese - Wine?
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/442447

          Hazan and others make the dish with a small dab of tomato paste, but not tomatoes.
          Does your recipe actually call for tomatoes (boxed, canned)?

          1. re: maria lorraine

            fresh tomatos and canned tomatos. And tomato paste :)

            1. re: maria lorraine

              i guess I should say im using a recipe for bolognese that does not call for wine or milk. Its got capicola, beef, pork, tomatos a-go-go, garlic, mir a pois (or however you spell it), garlic, beef broth and parsley...oh and butter.

              1. re: jenwee

                Ah, sounds like a lovely ragu, but not classic Bolognese.

        2. A medium-weight red that's not devoid of acidity and doesn't taste oaky. And since tomatoes don't flatter red wines, nothing too fancy.

          There are lots of good and affordable candidates from that general region, including Chianti, Sangiovese di Romagna, Rosso di Montalcino, Rosso di Montepulciano and Rosso Conero.

          1 Reply
          1. re: carswell

            Nothing too fancy -- exactly. Many reds will work.

            Carswell has a particularly good palate. But I am more a fan than he of red wines with
            cooked tomatoes (in concert with other ingredients, of course). Barbera, with its plum, pomegranate and tamarind flavors, melds particularly well -- at least for me --
            with the fruit and acidity of cooked tomato dishes.

            But Barbera isn't the best choice for Bolognese, to be sure. Even a Bolognese made
            with (ahem) tomatoes.

          2. BARBERA! Barbera? Yes, Barbera? A more modern styled barrique-aged Barbera such as those produced by La Spinetta, Sandrone, Clerico, or Braida (others, too). A fruit forward Barbera/Nebbiolo blend such as Pin (by La Spinetta) or or Rocche dei Manzoni's proprietary blend would be great, too. But, the key here... Barbera.

            If you are going light on the tomatoes you might try a good Sangiovese. (eg. Rosso di Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti). Or, in a different direction, a relatively affordable, always crowd pleaser, is the Zenato Ripassa... really any medium-full Ripass/Ripassa-esque wine from the Veneto might work... IF light/no tomatoes.

            If the sauce is tomato-based... I've gotta dissagre with Maria here... Barbera ALL the way. (Or, actually, the Barbera/Nebbiolo blends I was talking about).

            Desert wine? I always find myself reaching for a Baumard Quarts de Chaume, though that is not light on the wallet.

            1 Reply
            1. re: whiner

              Don't think we're in disagreement here. The definition of the dish is fuzzy, and therein lies the confusion. Bolognese is a meat and milk stew with no tomatoes, so the Barbera-tomatoes flavor connection (if you care for it) doesn't apply. The dish to be paired has loads of tomatoes -- and isn't a classic Bolognese but instead a meaty ragu -- so Barbera will work, though some of its beautiful subtleties may be lost amidst all that meaty gusto. Which is why I prefer your and Carswell's "non-fancy" red wine recommendations.

            2. Thalia Sonoma Valley Sangiovese from Viansa Winery ....a wonderful red, not too bold perfect for a ragu. I'm from Sonoma County, and I only drink Calif. wines....it's helps our local economy! Ha...try this wine, it was a gold medal winner in our local Harvest Festival. (I volunteered at the festival and poured this wine all during the festival...it was loved by all)

              1. A typical local pairing would be dry Lambrusco or Sangiovese di Romagna, but any simple, medium-bodied Italian red would do nicely.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Vinny Barbaresco

                  thanks everyone for your suggestions :)