Valpolicella Ripasso pairs best with Grilled Steak, Mushroom Risotto, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Duck, Braised Lamb, and Venison. If the dish is rich, gamey, earthy, or tomato sauce-based, Ripasso is an incredibly food-friendly wine to pair up with it.

Ripasso delivers the fruitiness of Valpolicella while introducing whispers of the structure and complex flavours that Amarone offers. Thus, this is not a red wine you can pair with lighter meats such as chicken, salad or white fish. Instead, given its complex notes of earth, herbs, and truffle and its blast of cherry and plum flavours, pair Ripasso up with red meat, game, lamb and rich pasta or stews.

What is Ripasso?

Some people refer to Ripasso as ‘Baby Amarone’ as it is made from the leftover grapes used to make Amarone. These leftover dehydrated grapes used for making Amarone are ‘repressed’ with Valpolicella grapes resulting in a dark fruity red wine with some complexity.

On the label, you may see Ripasso referred to as Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore, Ripasso Style, or Ripasso. However, despite what the label says, most people refer to it verbally as Ripasso. Valpolicella refers to the wine region where Ripasso comes from, and all Ripasso from Valpolicella will be a blend of grapes which includes Corvina Veronese, Rondinella, and Molinara.

Best Food with Ripasso

Valpolicella Ripasso DOC and Grilled Ribeye Steak

Rich, smoky and bright with dark cherry flavours, Ripasso is exceptional with a Grilled Ribeye steak. The Amarone used to create Ripasso imparts bittersweet flavours of mocha, chocolate and port that complement the charred grilled steak flavours. Ripasso also has enough tannin to make the grilled steak taste more savoury and delicious.

Meanwhile, black cherry-driven flavours Ripasso offers a pleasant contrast to the meaty notes of your steak, keeping you refreshed throughout your meal.

Add a side of Mushroom Risotto to your steak, and this pairing instantly becomes a 5 out of 5 pairing!

Ripasso DOC Wine and Spaghetti and Meatballs

Ripasso has a medium to high acidity, ensuring it will not clash with the tomato sauce used alongside your Spaghetti and Meatballs. Meanwhile, the plump dark fruit flavours of Ripasso hold up well to the meaty texture and taste of your Meatballs.

Spaghetti and Meatballs is a savoury dish that requires something rich yet refreshing, and Ripasso, with its dark fruit flavours, and notes of smoke, truffle and herbs, hits the right notes for meatballs or any meaty red pasta sauce.

Ripasso Red Wine & Mushroom Risotto Pairing

Brimming with earthy notes of truffle and herbs, Ripasso makes for a natural match with Mushroom Risotto. Furthermore, you’ll find that Ripasso is silky on the tongue, complementing the creamy, rich texture of a well-made Risotto.

I could go on further with this pairing, but instead, I’ll just say if you pair up Ripasso with a grilled rib-eye steak with a side of Mushroom Risotto, you will have one of the best nights of your life.

Ripasso & Grilled Venison Chops Pairing

The dark plum and black cherry flavours of Ripasso do a fantastic job of masking the gaminess of the Venison meat. Meanwhile, the ample tannin in the wine will break down the meat molecules in your Venison chops, making them taste more flavourful and delicious.

Ripasso also has heavenly notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, tobacco and smoke, which complement the grilled flavours of the Venison Chops.