Matches made in heaven
We've all heard 'whites with white meat and reds with red meat', but let's take a more interesting approach - shall we? When pairing plant-based foods with your vino, consider the herbs, spices, sauce and oils/fats. Is it a light summer feast or a warming winter comfort?
Generally speaking, pair light-bodied white wines with light foods, and dry, rich whites with creamy or nutty dishes. Have medium-bodied reds with herby foods, and full-bodied reds with warming, savoury, heavier meals.
We love the beautifully endless complexities of wine. Each varietal has so many different flavour profiles, so matching the character of your wine with your food is the best way to go about it.
each varietal has so many different flavour profiles, so matching the character of your wine with your food is the best way to go about it.
The sweetness of Riesling or Gewürztraminer go beautifully with rich, spicy foods such as Indian or Thai cuisine, and with whole grains like quinoa and brown rice.
Try Gewürztraminer with a hot Indian curry, or a yummy Riesling with spicy Thai dishes. Making it perfect would be swapping the white rice or noodles with whole grains.
Lighter whites or aromatic style wines usually have fresh, acidic notes that can be matched with salads, beans, or steamed green vegetables. Or you could compliment the acidity with fried foods like hot chips or vegetable fritters.
Try Pinot Gris with a fresh garden salad and corn fritters, or together with turkish bread, hummus and falafel.
Wines like Chardonnay and Viognier can be quite rich, creamy and often less acidic. This makes them jive with soft, earthy and creamy foods such as mushrooms, potatoes and pasta dishes.
Try a good Chardonnay with creamy mushrooms on pasta or mashed potatoes, and some crusty bread on the side. Or go for a hearty pumpkin soup in the cooler autumn months.
Seriously, there’s not a lot that Rosé can’t get along with. It’s that friendly, mellow wine that slips in anywhere, anytime. As long as you avoid peppery/spicy foods, or soft steamed vegetables, you’ll be fine!
Try an off-dry style Rosé with an Italian-style pizza and garlic bread, or some root vegetables either grilled or barbecued.
Pinot Noir, Grenache, and other lighter bodied reds are classically matched with herbaceous dishes. The earthy characteristics in the wine are lovely with equally earthy, herby foods.
Try a savoury Pinot Noir with a decadent truffle pizza or creamy mushroom risotto. Don’t forget the herbs – basil, thyme, oregano, tarragon, etc.
With Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc you’ve got fruity, dry characteristics. Match these up with roasted vegetables like portobello, eggplant, tomatoes, garlic and shallots, or Italian-style foods with white starches.
Try a nice Merlot with roasted bell peppers stuffed with Italian-style mushroom and tomato risotto.
Big reds are most suited to stronger flavours. Think big roasts with potatoes, cremini, eggplants and bell peppers, wine-infused sauces and hearty casseroles.
Try Cabernet Sauvignon with grilled stuffed capsicums and mushrooms on the BBQ with marinated tempeh.
Sweet dessert wines should always be contrasted with sour, salty, or bitter flavours to compliment the high residual sugar content in the wine.
Try a Late Harvest sticky with 70%+ dark chocolate, a lemon tart or a fruit and berry crumble with no added sugar.
At the end of the day, you can pair up any wine and food that you enjoy, the main thing is to have each component enhance each other.