Wine&more Team

Top 5 wine pairings with Spaghetti Bolognese


Bolognese sauce is so famous that there are literally thousands of different recipes worldwide. So let’s first explain what is what. Then, we can choose what type of wine can elevate this experience to the bliss of synergy. Even more, we will offer examples with specific wines.

Ragu or Bolognese?

Bolognese sauce is the most popular version of a ragù sauce. Its full name is Ragù alla Bolognese, which indicates its origin in the town of Bologna in Italy.

Ragù is a name for numerous tomato-based meat sauces. Some of the most praised ones are being made in the southern Italian region, such as the city of Naples.

So, Ragù and Bolognese are not synonymous, although Bolognese is a specific type of ragu sauce. Ragù refers to a number of meat-based tomato sauces. Bolognese sauce is based on a carrot, celery, onion and, of course, beef.

Bolognese sauce is usually served with a long string-like noodle made from durum wheat, otherwise known as – spaghetti. spaghetti-bolognese-wine-pairing-2

What wine goes with Bolognese?

Spaghetti bolognese is a classic Italian dish that pairs well with a wide variety of wines.

The most common pairing suggestions are:

  1. Aromatic red wine with a lighter body – such wine can pair well with tomato-based dishes
  2. Heavier red wine – pairs well with richer meat dishes
  3. Structured white wine – certain whites have the necessary body and intensity to pair with pasta dishes with heavier sauces

Aromatic red wine with a lighter body to pair with spaghetti bolognese

When pairing spaghetti bolognese with a lighter red wine, Pinot Noir normally comes to mind. This pairing can work really well because Pinot Noir has aromas of bright cherry and raspberries, which can contrast nicely with the earthy flavour of the Bolognese sauce. Also, an acidic Pinot Noir component can balance nicely with rich Bolognese sauce. However, many Pinots could be a bit lightweight for a hearty Bolognese. spaghetti-bolognese-wine-pairing-3

Heavier red wine to pair with spaghetti bolognese

For a richer spaghetti bolognese dish, most of the Sangiovese wine, such as Chianti, pairs excellently because it’s a medium to full-bodied wine with notes of redcurrant, plum and blackberries, which can bring out the flavours of the meat in Bolognese sauce. The tannins from Chianti also help to balance the richness of spaghetti bolognese and make it a great pairing option. There is little worry that the wine might overpower Bolognese, but the cooler-climate Sangiovese should fit perfectly in the mix.

Structured white wine to pair with spaghetti bolognese

Certain whites have enough body and intensity to stand up to pasta dishes with heavier sauces like spaghetti bolognese. A full-bodied white such as Chardonnay or some Pinot Grigio can pair with spaghetti bolognese beautifully. The buttery notes of a certain Chardonnay can work to soften the spiciness of spaghetti bolognese and bring out its creaminess. On the other hand, such Chardonnays often lack the necessary freshness. Young Pinot Grigio has a crisp, citrus-like quality that is ideal for spaghetti bolognese because it can help to cut through the heaviness of the sauce, although it could lack the body to balance the meal ideally.

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All of these suggestions might be a safe place when it comes to wine pairing to spaghetti bolognese, but they can also be boring. As a result, they can lack the excitement and surprise of synergy between wine and dish.

Top 5 spaghetti Bolognese wine pairings:

Apart from the usual suspect, these are five exciting pairing suggestions you might’ve never considered:

  1. Lasina
  2. Babić
  3. Teran
  4. Blatina
  5. Maraština

Lasina and Babić, two Croatian wine varieties, pair particularly well with spaghetti bolognese. Lasina is a light-bodied red with silky tannins but fully ripe in taste, while Babić is an intense red with a cherry fruit profile that pairs beautifully with spaghetti bolognese’s richness.

Teran from Istria can provide the necessary acidity, combined with its unique earthy and minerality, to bring spaghetti bolognese’s flavours out. It will work similarly to Refosco, only without fear of overwhelming the dish.

Blatina is a unique red gem from Herzegovina, with notes of cherries, raspberries and blackcurrants, but also vegetal and earthy undertones, which together with ideally gentle tannin structure can provide the perfect balance for spaghetti bolognese.

Maraština is an aromatic white wine from Croatia that has a delicate body and enough acidity to balance spaghetti bolognese’s richness, while also not being too overpowering. Its flowery aroma brightens it up and makes spaghetti bolognese and Maraština an unexpected but great match.

These five wine types might not be the typical spaghetti bolognese pairing choices, but they can bring excitement and surprise to your spaghetti bolognese experience. Each of these wines offers something unique that makes them a great match for spaghetti bolognese, making the dish even more enjoyable. spaghetti-bolognese-wine-pairing

However, if you’re looking for an interesting spaghetti bolognese wine pairing, not just any one of these five wines can do the trick. To get the perfect spaghetti bolognese wine pairing, you’ll need to find a particular bottle that bests suit your taste, and this is our selection:

Lasina with spaghetti bolognese

Ante Sladić Lasina, Dalmatia, Croatia is an excellent example of a rare find that can surprise anyone accustomed to sipping a Pinot Noir wine with bolognese sauce. Succulent and juicy on the palate, transparent and light, but with plenty of body to carry the heavy sauce and ripe, silky tannins that balance every bite. In addition, the surprise factor is enhanced by this variety being very untypical for the Dalmatia region and grown only in a small area near the town of Šibenik.

Babić with spaghetti bolognese

Delusional Wine Babić, Dalmatia, Croatia is a vibrant red that stands out for its intense aroma of cherries and spices with a touch of rustic. Its juicy tannins provide an excellent balance to spaghetti bolognese’s richness, making it perfect for those who prefer medium-bodied reds. It surprises by with being very authentic despite the fact it was made by Mike Pulley, who made quite an unorthodox career change. It’s quite a story that will go great with your spaghetti dinner.

Teran with spaghetti bolognese

Kabola Teran, Istria, Croatia is a traditional red variety that has been grown in the region for centuries. Naturally higher acidity and round yet firm tannins are ideal for spaghetti bolognese. Its robustness complements the dish’s richness, and its minerality adds a pleasant complexity to the entire experience.

Blatina with spaghetti bolognese

Domano Blatina Premium, Domanovići, Bosnia and Herzegovina, is unexpected but a great spaghetti bolognese wine pairing option. Blatina’s subtle tannin structure and its fruit and earth aromatic profile, along with vegetal notes, are sure to excite your palate and accompany the bolognese sauce ideally. Blatina is not only indigenous but also a variety grown exclusively in the Mostar region in Herzegovina.

Maraština with spaghetti bolognese

With unique Mediterranean herbal aromatics, Sladić family winery Maraština Premium (Dalmatia, Croatia) works as a spice to a plate full of spaghetti bolognese. The Maraština’s stone fruit notes also complement the dish, but what makes this combination truly special is the wine’s structure and balance. Just enough power and just enough well-spread freshness across the palate to lift the bolognese experience to another level.

Photo by Joice Kelly on Unsplash

These five spaghetti bolognese wine pairings will give you a great culinary surprise and create an unforgettable spaghetti bolognese experience. If you’re looking for something special to accompany your spaghetti bolognese, try one of these wines and enjoy!

By experimenting with wine pairing options, you can open up a world of exciting new taste experiences. So don’t be afraid to try something unexpected and delicious! 

Buon appetito!

(Did you know? In Italy, while spaghetti bolognese may be an iconic pasta dish, the preferred choice of pasta for bolognese is tagliatelle.)

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