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Osso Bucco Wine Pairing: 6 Fine Tasting Liquors To Sip Along


Last Updated: March 17, 2024

Are you hosting a luncheon or a dinner party but worrying about what to serve your guests? How about impressing them with the best Osso Bucco wine pairing? You can only enjoy wine drinking when you understand its elements to it.

Otherwise, it's like drinking aromatic colored water. Definitely not a good impression at all!


Please read on, and let's make this experience less stressful for you. Let's find out what wines make an excellent pairing for a delectable dish such as osso buco.

The Best Wine Pairing For Veal Osso Buco

Choosing the right beverage can enhance whatever you're eating and allows you to enjoy any meal. Such is the part where making informative choices is crucial, as the wrong choice of wine to pair your meal can ruin your dining experience.

The pairing will significantly vary when you pair wine with beef osso buco or veal osso buco. Beef has a more intense flavor, while veal osso buco has a more delicate taste. Osso buco is a fancy Italian classic dish featuring braised veal shanks from a young calf. 

It comes with gremolata toppings, another classic from Italy, parsley, garlic, and lemon zest; some would even have it with pancetta or pork belly. Also, the dish has a tomato-based sauce.

Try paying more attention to the overall flavor than merely considering the main ingredients of your meal. It will work more effectively in achieving a flourishing food and wine pairing, as this practice is what most sommeliers do.

Check out our recommendation of some of the best wines you can match with Osso busco:

1. Amarone

Undisputedly, a good bottle of Amarone has the sturdiness of a natural athlete. It is an intense, dried-grape wine from the northeastern regions of Italy.

Amarone has extraordinary power and complex flavors, making it a kind of specialty wine that, when it's good, can be extremely good. 

Your only challenge will be finding a well-suited time to drink it. But that wouldn't be a problem if you're serving it with osso buco or any gamy meats and robust cheeses. To date, Amarone is one of the most robust wines in Italy.

2. Chianti Classico

Chianti Classico

If your veal shank comes with rich tomato sauce, you must consider pairing it with Chianti Classico. It is a medium-weight dry, highly acidic Sangiovese-based wine from Tuscany with moderate fruit flavor. Chianti is Tuscany's most famous wine, originating between Florence and Siena.

Aside from its lively acidity and sometimes dusty tannin, a Sangiovese grape comes with floral aromas and earthy flavors. Therefore, if your menu has tomatoes in its ingredients, it will be less acidic if you pair your delicious meal with Chianti Classico.

3. Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is among Bordeaux's most reputable red wine varieties. Like Pinot Noir, this wine thrives well in California, despite originating from France.

It is a grape that grows worldwide and produces world-class wines in Napa Valley and Paso Robles.

Cabernet Sauvignon's decadent flavor and high tannin make it a suitable pairing for meals with deep, intense flavors. Since the wine is high in tannin, you can expect a dry mouthfeel when drinking it. As such, you will find that Cab makes one of the best pairings with a hearty veal shank.

Its dryness cleanses the palate and balances the taste of rich-flavored meat. Such is a versatile concentrated wine with impressive caramel, black fruit, and vanilla notes; it smells leathery, smoky, or toasty.

4. Zinfandel


Zinfandel is a lively red wine. It originates from southern Italy, where the wine is well-known as Primitivo, while Zinfandel is from the same grape varietal that grows in California. Such is a full-bodied wine that smells like blackberries; its flavor blends well with animal flavors present in veal shank meals.

However, a California Zinfandel has a spicy character that makes a better match for osso buco. Zinfandel is robust and dry enough to withstand the complex flavor of veal shank and chops. Despite being a heavy wine, Zinfandel is not too sweet.

It displays a perfect balance between fruity flavor and high alcohol content. Aside from braised veal shanks, Zinfandel also pairs well with roast pork and spicy beef stews.

5. Barolo


Barolo's bright acidity helps you savor the flavor of chopped carrots, bell peppers, onions, and herbs. Simmering all these ingredients in the osso buco recipe results in an impressively delicious broth.

Barolo comes from Nebbiolo, a prestigious grape varietal in Italy, which also produces the equally reputable Barbaresco. You can expect this wine to be food-friendly, provided you pair it with the proper meal. It smells like red berries, spice, and dried herbs, with a refreshing tannin and a crisp finish.

The intense flavor of a braised veal recipe, especially in an acidic lemon or tomato sauce, makes an excellent pair for Barolo wine's high tannins. Over the years, Barolo has been the epitome of brutal tannic and requires time to reach its maximum potential.

6. Sangiovese


Even though Sangiovese is the top grape in Italy, it may not be as well known as Chianti or Brunello di Montalcino. Tuscany in Italy is its native region, with Chinati and Montalcino as its famous appellations.

The Sangiovese is a tannic medium-weight red wine with lively acidity that blends perfectly with a braised sauce rich in tomatoes like that of osso buco.

It cuts through the creaminess of the risotto and the starchiness of mashed potatoes, balancing the flavors of cream and butter in your braised veal shank.

A Sangiovese blend with flavors of black cherry, plum, and raspberry can also heighten the flavors of your osso buco. Such is also famous as a blending wine with other grape varieties.

Taste Test: Have you ever considered that there are wines that go well with almost any type of meat (i.e. beef, duck, etc.)? Bite into our article here and tell us what you think about its accompanying wine -- Chateauneuf Du Pape Food Pairing.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do osso buco ingredients include wine?

Slow cooking is the best way to cook osso buco since it helps the meat to become more tender. Traditionally served with only white wine, but nowadays, the osso buco recipe already includes white and red wine and is sometimes served with a tomato-based sauce.

Osso buco, a famous hearty delicacy from northern Italy, means hollow bones or bones with holes. As anyone might find it surprising, the bones are not hollow but are rich in tasty marrow. Aside from meat from a calf's hind shank, its ingredients include onion, celery, and onion.

What is the best lamb shanks wine pairing?

Syrah, Merlot, and other Bordeaux red wines make an excellent match. Additionally, Semillon, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc are white wines that pair well with a tender cut of lamb.

A lamb's tender meat, rich in vitamins and iron and high in fat, makes a perfect pairing with medium to full-bodied red wines. You may still pair it with a highly acidic white wine, though.

Is white or red wine the best match for Osso Bucco?

The traditional osso buco comes with gremolata. It is served on a luxurious bed of mashed potatoes or saffron risotto, a well-known risotto recipe, and pairs well with white or red wine. When you do, see that you go for heavier whites and lighter reds to match the food's flavor.

Red wines from the Piedmont region are rich and have high acidity. Dry red wines are good, too. If it's veal osso buco, then it's best to pay attention to the cooking method and the cut of meat. Once you identify if your food has a subtle or robust flavor, you can pick a well-suited wine to match it.


Despite the osso buco recipe consisting of veal with a marrow-filled bone, this delicious dish is more than just a bone with a hole. With braised veal osso buco, you can expect the meat to be more tender. Any heavy food tastes best with red wines. 

Food and wine pairing require a delicate balance, with wine and food competing for our attention. Despite the complexity of flavor pairing, anyone can learn the fundamentals, such as identifying the basic taste in a dish. 

Go for the pairing method that allows the wine to neutralize the basic taste of your food. Remember that your objective is to have food and wine flavors complement each other.

The right choice will bring out the best in your wine's primary characteristics and enhance your meal's taste.

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