Best Wine with Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese is a hearty dish that’s perfect for cold weather. It typically consists of ground beef, tomatoes, and onions, plus other ingredients such as celery and carrots. The meat can be browned or cooked in its natural juices, but either way, it produces a rich sauce that we love to pair with our favorite full-bodied red wines.

Full-bodied Reds

Red wines with a full body are more complex and richer than other red wines. They have a higher alcohol content, as well as tannins that give them a fuller body and mouthfeel.

Full-bodied reds are best paired with foods that have big flavors of their own, such as the hearty pasta favorite Spaghetti Bolognese.

These big reds are usually best served at room temperature or slightly warm. Cold wines don’t provide the same sensory experience for your palate, which can leave you with an unpleasant mouthfeel during your meal, so make sure you serve it at the correct temperature.

The best example I can give you is Cabernet Sauvignon. Try one of these:

Substance ‘Cs’ Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

From the winery itself, “Classic Cabernet Sauvignon. Currant, blackberry, cigar box with touches of chocolate, cedar, and pencil lead. Full flavored & just so damn good. I should raise the price!”

Château Lynch-BagesPauillac (Grand Cru Classé) 2016

It exhibits a deep red color with notes of dark fruit, cassis, blackcurrants, and a distinctive hint of mint. On the palate, it is full in body with ripe tannins and cassis throughout. The finish is long.

Flat Top Hills Cabernet Sauvignon

This is a rich, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. It is distinctly dark fruit on the palate with cocoa and vanilla notes. It has gentle spices like nutmeg and cassis. The finish is smooth, long, and velvety.

Match Your Dish for ‘Weight’

When choosing a wine with Spaghetti Bolognese, it’s important to match the weight of your dish. This will ensure that you don’t overpower the food with an overly light or heavy wine. Also, it will help you avoid pairing a heavy meat sauce with a light white wine or vice versa.

Pairing with Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese has a few major taste elements that affect what kind of wine works best with it. The first is that you should select a wine that matches the flavors in your Spaghetti Bolognese dish. If you have a tomato-based sauce, for example, then you’ll want to pick out a wine that has some red fruit and spicy notes (such as black cherry or vanilla).

The two most important elements of this sauce are tomato and onion. The latter is responsible for most of its sweetness and acidity while the former contributes its distinctive tang. These two taste elements need to be balanced out by something equally rich but not overpowering.

In this case, a good example would be Pinot Noir which has a high acidity level and also has a good amount of fruit.

The wines below are all very good options for Pinot Noir:

2016 Domaine Lecheneaut Les Pruliers

This is towards the more expensive end of the price range but no doubt this is an exceptional wine. Les Pruliers has a strong color. The wine offers aromas of fresh red fruit, wild prunes, and licorice. As it ages, it adds depth and roundness. It has aromas of cocoa, and smoked meat.

2019 Fanny Sabre Bourgogne Rouge

More affordable is the Fanny Sabre Bourgogne Rouge. This is an organic pinot noir that’s delicate, easy to drink, and naturally delicious. It has a fresh, crunchy, summer pudding fruit flavor with crisp acidity and just lip-smacking moreishness. And because it’s low in sulfur, it’s great for summer or winter drinking.

2018 Corazza Pinot Nero

At the lower end of the price range is the Pinot Nero. This is a unique wine from Friuli, a region in northeastern Italy. It’s made from the pinot noir grape and is unlike other pinot noirs you might be used to. It’s light, bright, and easy to drink.

Pairing the Beef

If you’re using beef mince, then stick with something meaty like the aforementioned Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s not just about the sauce. The meats used can have an impact on what wine works best with Spaghetti Bolognese too.

If your recipe calls for tomato paste and beef broth, look for a dry red wine with medium tannins, such as Cabernet Sauvignon. These wines have enough fruitiness and acidity to stand up to the heavy flavors of tomato paste and beef broth without getting lost in them like lighter-bodied white wines would do.

They also have enough body to match up well against Spaghetti Bolognese’s hearty texture, without being too overpowering or leaving an alcohol burn at the end of each bite. Many reds are known for this.

Other Options

If your recipe calls for only one chicken broth instead of two types of meat stocks then it might be better suited towards lighter-bodied whites such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc which complement red sauces very nicely due to their high acidity levels along with fruity characteristics found within both grapes used during the fermentation process.

If you decide to go for Pinot Grigio, I recommend one of these:

2021 St. Michael-Eppan San Michele Appiano Pinot Grigio Sudtirol – Alto Adige

This wine has grown in popularity and is appreciated for its freshness, nice acidity, and pleasant, lingering aftertaste. Well worth seeking out.

2021 Pradio Priara Pinot Grigio Friuli Grave

From the Pradio Italian family estate, this Pinot Grigio presents as pale yellow in color. Notes are blended wildflowers and ripe fruit (apple, pear, banana). This wine has a long finish that is fresh and lingering on the palate.

2021 Cantina Zaccagnini Terre di Chieti IGT Pinot Gris

The color is straw yellow with a very pleasant aroma. It has clear fruity notes of pear and green apple, as well as slight hints of aromatic herbs. The taste is dominated by freshness and savoriness; it’s light enough for crisp white fruit but still flavorful enough to appeal to those who prefer something on the sweeter side.

For Sauvignon Blanc, I recommend the following three excellent examples:

Bread & Butter North Coast Sauvignon Blanc

This Sauvignon Blanc has bright aromas of lemon zest and hints of tropical fruit, lively flavors with citrus notes followed by a rich texture and a clean finish.

2021 Decoy California Sauvignon Blanc

Aromas of pineapple, lemon, and green apple lead the way for this crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Underneath those fresh scents is a layer of lime zest that adds another exciting dimension to what you taste, which lingers in your mouth long after each sip.

Lieu Dit Sauvignon Blanc 2017

This Sauvignon Blanc has aromas of ripe kiwi, lemon, and lime accented by hints of green apples. The palate is full and creamy with a rich mouthfeel that is balanced by crisp acidity.

Conclusion

Spaghetti Bolognese is a hearty dish that can use a hearty wine. Hearty wines, particularly those which have spent time in oak, make the best match for this popular dish.

If you’re going to drink wine while eating your Spaghetti Bolognese, then you want it to be able to stand up against such rich food without losing its own flavor profile or becoming too bitter after repeated sips. My recommendation is to go with Cabernet Sauvignon to ensure an excellent pairing but as you can see there are some other good options.

If there is one Bolognese sauce recipe you MUST try it’s Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese Sauce. This one from the New York Times website is outstanding. Trust me!

If you enjoyed this article, please check out the Best Wine for Risotto and the Best Wine for Linguine and Clams.