Duane McLaughlin

The Best Wines to Complement Osso Buco

Selecting the top wines to enhance the rich taste of Osso Buco.

A plate of Osso Buco with a recommended wine pairing

Basics to Pairing Wine With Osso Buco

As a general rule, Osso Buco, known for its tender veal shanks and aromatic sauce, pairs beautifully with full-bodied, robust red wines. The ideal wine should have enough structure and acidity to complement the richness of the meat and the complexity of the sauce.

General Tips for Pairing Wine with Osso Buco

When selecting a wine for Osso Buco, consider the dish's key flavors: the richness of the veal, the depth of the tomato sauce, and the aromatic gremolata topping. A wine with good tannins, acidity, and a bouquet that can stand up to these strong flavors is ideal. Typically, red wines with earthy and herbal notes work best, providing a nice contrast to the dish's meaty and savory profile.

Specific Pairings for Osso Buco

Here are some specific wine pairings that beautifully complement an Osso Buco meal:

  • Barolo (€50-€100): Known for its robust structure and complex flavors, a Barolo like Marchesi di Barolo Tradizione enhances the rich, meaty flavors of Osso Buco.
  • Amarone della Valpolicella (€60-€120): With its bold, full-bodied profile and dark fruit notes, an Amarone like Masi Costasera Amarone Classico provides a luxurious complement to the dish.

Can you drink white wine with Osso Buco?

Traditionally, red wines are preferred with Osso Buco, but a full-bodied white wine like a well-aged Chardonnay can offer a surprising complement. Its creamy texture and complex flavor profile can balance the richness of the dish without overpowering it.

Osso Buco with a Contemporary Twist

While traditional Osso Buco is irreplaceable, a modern twist could involve incorporating non-traditional ingredients like porcini mushrooms and rosemary-infused demi-glace. These additions bring a new depth of flavor, perfectly paired with a matured Barbaresco, which has enough subtlety to elevate these nuanced flavors.


In conclusion, pairing wine with Osso Buco is an exploration of balance and harmony between the rich, complex flavors of the dish and the structure of the wine. While traditional pairings lean towards robust reds, there's room for experimentation with aged whites or other varietals. The most important aspect is to choose a wine that you enjoy and that complements the dish, enhancing the overall dining experience.