With the goulash, I had the 2008 Weninger Hochacker Blaufrankisch from Mittelburgenland, Austria. The wine is reddish with a rim just beginning to pick up a brickish color, with characteristics of ripe red fruit, cherry, berry, lots of cinnamon and bold intense baking spices, rose petals, and a nice texture with bright acidity and very present tannin making it smooth. The wine is very dry and food friendly, somewhat “big,” with a long finish reminiscent of the fruit and spice. The acidity and dryness of the wine perfectly contrasted and cut through the creaminess of the sauce in the goulash, the spices mirrored the spice in the dish, and the wine stood up well to the meat and dense character of the dish.
With the gnocchi Bolognese, I had the 2006 Casa Maschito Basilicata Rosso, an Aglianico from Southern Italy. Italian reds are generally known to be food friendly due to their high acidity, and this wine was certainly in that category. The wine is very red leaning brickish, particularly on the rim, with characteristics of red fruit, cherry, berry, a hint of wild berry, and plum flesh, with smooth spices and a bit of oak and earth, bright acidity making it very food friendly, smooth tannin, and a long finish. I was really pleased with this pairing as well - the flavors and characteristics worked well together.