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Second Pours of Oltrepò Pavese Wines with Braised Short Ribs and Puff Pastry #ItalianFWT #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Oltrepò Pavese Wine Consortium.
Complimentary wine was provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.
However, all opinions expressed here are my own.

For the February #ItalianFWT event, Susannah of Avvinare is hosting. You can read here invitation here, but she asked us to explore Oltrepò Pavese wines and even lined up a few samples for the group.

If you are reading this early enough, feel free to join our Twitter chat on Saturday, February 5th at 8am Pacific time. Follow the hashtag #ItalianFWT and be sure to add that to anything you tweet so we can see it. Here's the line-up of the group's Oltrepò Pavese articles...

Oltrepò Pavese Wines

I'll be honest: I had to look up this wine region on a map before I started researching because I had absolutely no idea where it was located in Italy. Here are a few facts to set the stage for you. This wine region is located on the 45th parallel much like Bordeaux and Oregon and, thus, is the perfect locale for growing Pinot Noir - or Pinot Nero, as Italians call it. Bordered by Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, and Liguria, the first mention of viticulture in the Oltrepò is from Greek geographer Strabone who, in 40 BC, wrote about good wine and credited the region with the first use of wine casks.

2017 Tenuta Mazzolino 
Oltrepò Pavese Noir

I already mentioned that I received some wine samples from the Oltrepò Pavese Wine Consortium. Grazie mille! And the first bottle I poured was the 2017 Tenuta Mazzolino Oltrepò Pavese Noir. The estate has been owned by the Braggioti family since 1980. They focus on Pinot Nero, Chardonnay, Moscato, and the indigenous grape Croatina.

The wine poured a deep garnet hue and, on the nose, reveals aromas of pomegranate, raspberry, clay, and white pepper. On the palate, the wine mirrors those fruity, earthy notes. This wine was silky and elegant with a richness that was lovely and food friendly. As for the title of my post - second pours - I am excited to admit that Jake poured himself a second glass of this. Usually, he humors my wine pairings, just tasting enough to get the idea of the wine and food match. But for this, he indulged in a second glass. That is saying something for my husband!

Braised Short Ribs

Ingredients serves 6
Braised Ribs
  • 2 to 2-1/2 pounds beef short ribs
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 organic onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablepoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 Tablespoons capers

For Serving
  • polenta
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • caperberries, for garnish

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Season short ribs liberally with salt and pepper. Set aside. In a Dutch oven, melt 1 Tablespoon butter in 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Add the onions and fennel. Cook until onions are just translucent.

Add the short ribs to the pan. Sear for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Pour in the tomato sauce, stock, and red wine. Top with capers. Bring liquid to a boil.

Place it in the oven to braise for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. The meat should be tender and almost falling off the bone.

To Serve
Cook polenta according to package.  Add in cheese and stir to incorporate. Remove ribs carefully from the sauce. Scoop polenta into individual serving bowls and top with short rib. Garnish with caperberries and serve immediately. 

Travaglino NV Metodo Classico 
Cuvée 59 Brut Sparkling

The second bottle I received from the consortium was the Travaglino NV Metodo Classico Cuvée 59 Brut Sparkling. Made from a blend of Pinot Nero and Chardonnay, this wine was made in the classic method of a second fermentation in the bottle.

This winery has a fascinating history, dating back to 1111 and occupying a Medieval monastery. Since 1868 it has been owned by the Comi family.

The wine poured a beautiful golden straw color and had aromas of acacia and peaches. But it was the subtle notes of brioche that had me longing to pair the wine as a match for a pastry dessert. Done! I made some puff pastry and served the wine with macerated berries, whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate.

And, again, Jake helped himself to a second pour of the wine...and a second layered pastry. Needless to say, we went on an especially long bike ride the following day.

Well, that's a wrap on my Oltrepò Pavese post. I will certainly have to track down some other bottles since Jake was such a fan of the two we tried. The #ItalianFWT group will be back in March with pieces about natural and organic wine. Stay tuned...

Find the Oltrepò Pavese Wine Consortium on the web, on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter

*Disclosure: I received compensation in the form of wine samples for recipe development and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.


  1. That dish - short ribs with polenta - perfect pairing! Your recipes are always an inspiration!

    1. It was such a great pairing. Thanks for stopping by! XOXO

  2. The dessert is gorgeous but I'm more interested in the short ribs for which I now have a hankering.

    1. Yes! Colder weather sets me on a long parade of braised meats. Short ribs are a favorite.

  3. Wow Camilla, I am so excited that the wines were a hit with both you and Jake. Your dishes are alway san inspiration. Those short ribs look divine as does the puiff pastry. Cheers to you.

    1. I was thrilled to get to know this wine region. Definitely will be looking out for more bottles soon. Thanks, again, for hosting and getting us all samples.

  4. Oh wow how impressive that Jake had a second pour for both wines! I was quite impressed with the wines from this region too. Those ribs and homemade puff pastry look absolutely to die for. Second pour or not, he is one lucky guy!

    1. Thanks! Yes, he rarely drinks more than a glass of wine with my pairings and, sometimes, doesn't even finish that. He just sips enough to give me some thoughts about the pairing and tasting notes.

  5. Mmm, delicious! I have yet to make short ribs this winter. I need to address that soon!

    1. Yes! It's definitely a winter food for us. But it sounds as if it's still cold and wintery where you are. So, indulge soon!

  6. Both wines sound delish, and that pastry has my tummy rumbling. I'd have to double-down on the exercise, too!

    1. Yes. Our metabolisms aren't what they used to be. That's for sure...and we don't seem to be slowing down on any of the food and drink. So increasing exercise it must be. Cheer!

  7. Your short ribs look great, they are a favorite of mine as well. Especially over polenta!

    1. Thanks. It's funny, our youngest doesn't like short ribs; he says they are too fatty. More for us!

  8. Yum! I love braised short ribs! Your recipe looks great. I typically paired something with more weight with braised short ribs, but based on the PN sample I rec'd I can totally see a PN from Oltrepo working with the dish.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Martin! Yes, heavier wines would usually be on the menu. But I loved this match.

  9. I'd be ordering this in a restaurant if I could! I love your lighter match, sometimes I just want the food to be the rock star.

    1. Such a succinct way to say that. I think I always fall in that camp: food as the rock star.

  10. The short ribs + polenta looks like a wonderfully warming dish... I've always been a bit scared of messing up short ribs so never dared to cook them but you make it sound so doable! I'm inspired. The dessert looks out of this world OMG.

    1. They are totally do-able! And really flexible with spices, liquid, etc. Just get creative.

  11. I love the short ribs over the polenta and that pastry….yum!


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