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Best Wine for Tomato Sauce & Red Pasta Sauce

plate of Bolognese pasta topped with cheese next to a glass of red wine
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Do you have a favorite red pasta sauce recipe? Do you love to drink wine, but can’t figure out what wines are the best to pair with your dish? In the following blog post, we will talk about some of the best wines to pair with tomato sauce and red pasta sauces. We’ll go over different types of wines and their best matches so that you can find the perfect wine for your next dinner party!

Oh, and did we mention we’re including a bonus Easy Classic Bolognese Sauce recipe?

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Are All Red Pasta Sauces The Same?

No, not all red pasta sauces are created equal. While most red pasta sauces are tomato sauce based, red pasta sauce can mean different things. For example, a simple marinara, a hearty bolognese, a meaty and flavorful sauce for lasagna, and many more.

There are differences to each of these red sauces that will pair best with different wines (both red and white) depending on the flavor profile of each sauce.

What wine goes well with marinara sauce?

The wine that goes best with red sauces such as marinara is red wine. A glass of red wine also goes quite nicely with a traditional meat sauce.

Tomato sauces are acidic so it is best to pair them with a medium-bodied red wine that will complement the flavor of the sauce. A wine that doesn’t match the acidity of the sauce will cause the wine to seem bland.

My favorite wine pairing for tomato based sauce is Chianti.

What is the best wine to pair with spaghetti?

Some other wines that pair with hearty spaghetti include Zinfandel and Sangiovese.

What wine goes with red sauce lasagna?

This classic dish of meat, cheese, noodles, and a robust tomato sauce layered together pairs best with an acidic but fruity red wine like a full-bodied Zinfandel.

These wines have a medium body and compliment a good hearty red sauce. You really want to make sure that the wine you pick has enough flavor to hold up to the bold richness of this dish.

Our Top 4 Wines to Pair with Red Tomato Sauce

  1. Chianti
  2. Cabernet Sauvignon
  3. Zinfandel
  4. Sangiovese

What wine goes with spaghetti Bolognese?

These 4 wines above also pair well with spaghetti Bolognese, as they complement the heartiness of the Bolognese sauce.

people holding glasses of red wine

What is the difference between meat sauce and Bolognese?

A traditional meat sauce is either ground beef or pork that is seasoned and browned with onions, fresh garlic, fresh tomatoes that are all simmered down into a sauce used to top spaghetti.

A Bolognese is a much richer, thicker sauce made in the same way, but milk is introduced to make a more creamy sauce.

What makes a Bolognese sauce?

Bolognese sauce originated in Bologna Italy and is a sauce made with meat that is mixed with the pasta of choice before serving.

Known as Ragù ala bolognese in Italy, this sauce is traditionally served with either Tagliatelle or sometimes Fettuccine pasta. These broad noodles really hold the sauce well – but in a pinch, you can also use a Penne.

Classic Bolognese Sauce Recipe

The magic of this classic Bolognese dish happens when beef and fragrant vegetables cook down with wine, tomato paste, and stock. It is the perfect red sauce to top your favorite pasta with. Pair it with a tall glass of wine, and you’ve got an easy and delicious meal!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 carrots, peeled, finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 6 oz. ground beef (85% lean)
  • 6 oz. ground veal
  • 3 oz. thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 1/2 cups beef stock or chicken stock, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 lb. tagliatelle or fettuccine (preferably fresh egg)
  • Finely grated Parmesan (for serving)

How to Make Classic Bolognese Sauce

  1. Heat up a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil, onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté until onions are translucent and veggies are soft, roughly 9 minutes or so.
  2. Add beef, veal, and pancetta; use the back of a spoon to break up the meat and sauté until browned. This should take 15 minutes. Add in wine, and boil for 1 minute. Make sure to stir often and scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add 2 1/2 cups of stock and the tomato paste; stir to blend. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer, stirring occasionally until the flavors come together, 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bring the milk to a simmer in a small pan and gradually add to your sauce. Cover the sauce with a lid loosely, and simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the milk is absorbed into the sauce, takes about 45 minutes. You can add more stock, one 1/4 cup at a time to thin if needed.
  4. Bring a large pasta pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a pinch of salt and your choice of pasta. Cook according to package directions, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping. Continue stirring until the pasta is al dente. Drain. Add your pasta to a large pot and toss to coat. 
    • Tip: If the sauce seems a little thick, you can use a little of the pasta water to thin the sauce to your liking.
  5. Serve with fresh grated parmesan and a piece of garlic bread.

Looking for More Wine Pairing Ideas?

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If you enjoyed learning the best wines for tomato sauce and pasta sauces are, please drop a comment below! I’d LOVE to know what you think!

plate of Bolognese pasta topped with cheese next to a glass of red wine

Best Wine for Tomato Based Sauces + Classic Bolognese Sauce Recipe

DWELL by Michelle
The magic of this classic Bolognese dish happens when beef and fragrant vegetables cook down with wine, tomato paste, and stock. It is the perfect red sauce to top your favorite pasta with. Pair it with a tall glass of wine, and you've got an easy and delicious meal!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 683 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions , finely diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 2 celery stalks , finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 carrots , peeled, finely diced (about ¾ cup)
  • 6 oz. ground beef (85% lean)
  • 6 oz. ground veal
  • 3 oz. thinly sliced pancetta , finely chopped
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 2 ½ cups beef stock or chicken stock , divided
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 lb. tagliatelle or fettuccine (preferably fresh egg)
  • Finely grated Parmesan (for serving)

Instructions
 

  • Heat up a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil, onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté until onions are translucent and veggies are soft, roughly 9 minutes or so.
  • Add beef, veal, and pancetta; use the back of a spoon to break up the meat and sauté until browned. This should take 15 minutes. Add in wine, and boil for 1 minute. Make sure to stir often and scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add stock and the tomato paste; stir to blend. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer, stirring occasionally until the flavors come together, 1 ½ hours. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring the milk to a simmer in a small pan and gradually add to your sauce. Cover the sauce with a lid loosely, and simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the milk is absorbed into the sauce, 45 minutes. You can add more stock, one 1/4 cup at a time to thin if needed.
  • Bring a large pasta pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a pinch of salt and your choice of pasta. Cook according to package directions, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping. Continue stirring until the pasta is al dente. Drain. Add your pasta to a large pot and toss to coat. Tip: If the sauce seems a little thick, you can use a little of the pasta water to thin the sauce to your liking.
  • Serve with fresh grated parmesan and a piece of toasted garlic bread.
Keyword authentic recipes, dinner, dinner ideas, easy dinner, easy dinner recipes, easy lunch recipes, easy recipes, lunch, Pasta, quick lunch recipe, tomato, tomato sauce

Can you drink red wine with pasta?

YES!

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