Mosaico di Vita | Consorzio Vini di Romagna
December 2022 | Wine

Romagna Sangiovese, the pairings for the holidays

We tried to create an "all Romagna Sangiovese" menu by combining a different type of dish with each dish

We can affirm it with reasonable certainty: Romagna Sangiovese is an incredibly ductile wine.

Its many versions (from the Sangiovese base to the Superiore, from the Riserva to the Passito) allow an astonishing range of combinations ranging from simple piadina to the festive table. The latter, in particular, is the subject of our article. With Christmas just around the corner, the desire to be together multiplies, the dishes become more elaborate and satisfying tastes are sought, capable of giving some more intense emotions. And the wine?

We tried to hypothesize a Christmas lunch with all the "Romagna Sangiovese", trying to identify the dishes and dishes that could best match the "red bishop" of the Romagna hills.

Let's get started.


The Romagna Sangiovese, in its "basic" version, is perfect to accompany appetizers. The harmonious flavour, rightly tannic, the winy hints and the delicate aromas make it the ideal companion for all types of canapés (even those based on fish), savory pies, Russian salad, stuffed or gratin vegetables. If your choice falls on cold cuts, perhaps accompanied by crescentine, there is no better choice. Romagna Sangiovese is a young wine, it can be released on the market from 1 December following the harvest and has a minimum alcohol content of 12%.


The first Christmases require more structure. Whether it's stuffed pasta or with meat sauce, you need a Romagna Sangiovese Superiore. The Superiore version is also a young wine, with half a degree more (12.5%) and a greater refinement (it goes on the market from the April following the harvest). Fresh and fruity, with a slight astringency, it goes very well with pappardelle with wild boar, baked pasta (also filled with vegetables), legume soups, cheese gnocchi, fondue, meat and lean ravioli. His «death» - needless to say - is with cappelletti in broth.


For those who love meat main courses, let's add a piece of body and refinement. We are talking about Romagna Sangiovese Superiore Riserva: 24 months of minimum aging, often with a passage in wood. A full-bodied and deep wine, on which tertiary nuances stand out (spices, tobacco, ripe fruit, balsamic notes). It goes well with braised meats, roasts, game, cotechino and lentils. Our advice is to serve it with a nice rabbit cacciatore, mixed boiled meat or roast lamb.


The top of the Romagna Sangiovese pyramid still has one step: that of the Subzones. In Romagna there are sixteen and each tells a different nuance of Sangiovese, connecting it in a unique way to its territory of origin. There are two types of Romagna Sangiovese «Subzone»: the “base” one which is released on the market 1 year after the harvest, and the Riserva one, with a further 2 years of refinement. The indication of the sub-area claimed appears on the legal label. The sub-zone can be better identified if the bottle bears the Rocche di Romagna collective brand, created to spread awareness of the Romagna Sangiovese sub-zone project, which bears the name of the specific sub-zone on the band around the neck of the bottle or on a legal label with an epigraph brand.


When we get to the cheeses - you'll tell us - how do we combine another Romagna Sangiovese? It is possible thanks to the Passito version, whose grapes must be dried on the vine or, after harvesting, in special fruit cellars. Drying maximizes extraction from the grapes and gives wines with persuasive aromas, with sweet notes of sour cherry and plum jam, vegetable notes and – sometimes – a touch of graphite. The acidity of the Sangiovese remains very present and the wines range from dry to sweet. Romagna Sangiovese Passito is a good companion to aged cheeses, even if here in Romagna the queen Albana passito forces us in this case to gladly suggest a detour to one of the many excellent labels of this extraordinary dessert wine, especially if you want to fully enjoy the fabulous fossa cheeses of Sogliano, pride of the Romagna dairy art.


On the dessert, we persist in the "sgarro" just mentioned, since the Romagna Sangiovese "give up its arms" to the Romagna Albana. Whether your desserts are panettone or pandoro, but also strudel, nougat, panforte, panna cotta, cream cakes or dry pastries… treat yourself to a treat. Pair your meal with a Romagna Albana Docg Passito, perhaps in its Riserva version: you will discover a small oenological masterpiece, a sweet wine with graceful and elegant aromas, where the sweetness of dried fruit emerges amidst spicy nuances, with a very long and persistent finish. that never transcends into cloying. The right pampering that signs your Christmas before moving on to exchanging gifts.