Osso Bucco Wine Pairing: What wine varietals go with this dish?

Osso Bucco Wine Pairing: What wine varietals go with this dish?

Osso bucco, or braised veal shanks, is a very popular and conventional Italian dish. Osso bucco is Italian for ‘bone with a hole’ referring to the bone marrow seen when veal shanks are cross-cut.

The original version of osso bucco does not use tomatoes while many modern versions do use tomatoes. While traditionally osso bucco used veal, newer versions use pork shanks, venison shanks, beef shanks and lamb shanks.

Pairing the right wine with this very famous yet exotic dish is critical is making the meal wholesome and enjoyable.

This article is all about finding the right wine to pair with osso bucco.

What varietals are the best? Our top 9 choices:

 

sangiovese

Sangiovese

This medium-bodied wine is high in acidity. Typically flavors include plums, spicy black cherries, oak and vanilla.

Versatility is its middle name; hence this wine goes well with almost everything dish. The good amount of acidity, fruity flavors and the textured tannins make it a great wine to use with osso bucco too.

This hearty and vigorous vintage is widely cultivated in Italy. The wine’s ability to express a range of flavors from rustic and heavy to fruit-forward and light has given it the ‘chameleon’ epithet.

A great pair with nearly Italian tomato-based dishes, it blends extremely well with osso bucco also.

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Cabernet

Cabernet Sauvignon

This very popular and highly proliferating vintage is grown across the world in a variety of climes and soils. Subsequently there is a humongous number of Cabs available in the market in a wide range of pricings, flavors and from varied geographies.

The acidity level of Cabernets balances beautifully with the tartness of the sauce in osso bucco while also enhancing the flavors of the light spices too.

The complexity of the flavors, higher tannins and the savory taste in Cabernet Sauvignon make it a great pair for foods high in fat such as veal, lamb, pork all of which are used in making osso bucco.

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Zinfandel

Zinfandel

Zinfandel wine is greatly suited for pairing with many meat dishes ranging from barbecues to pork ribs to chops etc.

Beautifully complementing any hearty meal, zinfandel can be a great combo with the osso bucco too. Enhancing flavors of all spices in this cheery and wholesome meat dish, zinfandel-sso bucco pairing will not let you down.

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Merlot

Merlot

Being in the center of the red wine spectrum, merlot is extremely versatile and can be paired with multiple food varieties.

It can go well with chicken and lighter meats and equally well with the heavier meats too. Often wrongly considered an underdog to the Cab, this economical wine is classy by itself and pairs really nicely with osso bucco.

Brandishing a whole range of flavors and originations from different geographies, merlot is highly adaptable owing to its medium acidity and tannins.

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Valpolicella

Valpolicella

Named after the valley in Veneto where it is grown, this red wine created with rondinella, corvina and molinara grapes has about 11% alcohol. Valpolicella has been the local choice since time immemorial.

Usually fruity and medium-weight, this red wine is recommended with all Italian dishes including rice, soups, braised red meats as in osso bucco, and vegetables too. Valpolicella is considered a meditation and dessert wine owing to its intense fruity perfumes.

The crisp acidity in Valpolicella is a great reason to pair with the modern variety of tomato-sauce based osso bucco.

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Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo

Nebbiolo grapes are used to make some superb red wines from the regions of Gattinara, Barolo, Barbaresco and Valtellina. This orange-rimmed, deep-red wine is characterized by complex flavors, high amount of tannins, high acidity and high alcohol content.

Wonderfully aromatic, these wines are conventionally aged in barrels of Slavonian oak. Nebbiolo’s traditional food partner is red-wine-braised red meat dishes including osso bucco, game birds and white-truffles-filled pasta.

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Syrah

Syrah

Based on the region of fruit cultivation, this wine has flavors ranging from tar to jammy. Syrah wine expresses olive-like taste in France and blackberry in Australia.

Syrah has medium acidity, medium tannins and is known as one of the darkest full-bodied red wines available.

Supported by the full-bodied taste, this wine is ideal for pairing with bold foods such as braised meats. However, it is adaptable enough to go with a range of foods including burgers and blue cheese.

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Tempranillo

Tempranillo

This multifaceted wine is an excellent choice to pair with diverse foods. The predominantly tomato, cherry and plum fruit flavors combined with a mix-and-match of tobacco, clove, leather and vanilla, tempranillo has a smooth and lingering finish.

Often characterized as a medium to full bodied wine, tempranillo has a ruddy-orange color and is more translucent than other full-bodied varieties.

Backed by its savory taste, tempranillo can be paired with different kinds of food including Italian dishes like tomato-based meats, pizza and lasagna, Mexican foods such as nachos and tacos etc.

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Malbec

Malbec

Malbec and meats are considered to the ultimate food pair. With softer tannins than many other red wines, malbec is good with lean meat cuts such as skirt steak, flank and sirloin.

Slow-cooked meats with ample spicy notes are also a great combination with malbec. Moreover, malbec will hold its ground even in the face of strong sweet-spicy flavors of barbecue sauces.

With its burst of juicy and fresh fruits, malbec is a wonderful combo with hearty meals like osso bucco and oven-roasted red meats like beef.

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Bon Appetit! I hope you enjoyed learning about osso bucco wine pairing.

The importance of right wine-food pairing is to create that perfect balance between flavors. And if done shoddily, these great individual flavors when combined could clash and create food disasters.

While tastes are very individualistic and can vary widely, certain foods are simply meant to be paired with certain wines. When you discover this combination, the tastes of both the wine and food are enhanced.

One Response so far.

  1. Peter De Grève says:

    I’m making Osso Bucco for my final test in wine expert class. Two wines should be served with it and as a first wine I have a white one: Pecorino from Abruzzo. The choice for this wine is because it’s a rather full bodied wine with good acids (cuts through the fat) and aroma’s of white stonefruits, zest of tangerine (to link up with the zest of tangerine in my recipe). As it’s the classic ‘no tomato’ osso bucco I thought a white wine could pair too. As a second wine I’m tending towards Zinfandel perhaps…

    Do you think a white wine can match up as well (seeing the varietals above are all reds)?

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