Pairing Bold Reds with Vegetarian Food

Pairing Bold Reds with Vegetarian Food

Classically, pairing food and wine tends to focus on bringing together complementary flavors — often centered around a meat dish. If you’ve read about wine pairing, chances are you’ve seen plenty of tips for choosing the perfect wine to bring out the flavors of chicken, fish, or beef. However, if you’re vegetarian, vegan, or simply enjoy a vegan dish every now and then, you may be wondering how to pair your favorite plant-based foods with a great glass of wine. Truth be told, the world of fine dining has finally started paying attention to plant based menus.


Contrary to what the carnivores would have you believe; vegetarian food offers equally delightful pairings and can even stand up against bolder red wines than many meat-based dishes. We’ll help you tackle this and give you some inspiring new ideas for pairing wines with vegetarian foods.


Firstly, when you’re doing wine pairings for vegetarian dishes, just like you do with non-vegetarian food, the goal is to have the wine and the dish complements each other. Ideally, each should accentuate the other.


It’s a Matter of Strength


For a good pairing, you want to make sure that the food and wine have roughly the same strength of flavor. A big, full-bodied red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon might be too powerful for a light salad. Likewise, a delicate white wine could get overpowered by a hefty black bean stew.

Complement or Contrast

You want to complement or contrast the flavors and textures in the food and wine. An example of a complementary pairing is an earthy Pinot Noir with a wild mushroom risotto. The food and the wine exude earthy, mushroom notes. An example of a contrasting pairing is a crisp, acidic Sauvignon Blanc with a buttery, creamy fish dish. The crisp acidity of the wine cuts through the creaminess of the sauce.


Finding wine pairings for vegetarian and vegan food is both an art and a science. It will take some experimentation to find the foods and wines that appeal most to your unique tastes, and it will take a little creativity to try and predict how well complementary or contrasting flavors will play together.


Col d'Orcia Rosso di Montalcino 2020 & Pizza

A love for genuine things, for Mother Earth, for wine and for Tuscany, brought to us the wines of Col d"Orcia. Rosso di Montalcino is now a classic wine, made with pure Sangiovese grapes, released one year after the harvest so as to retain all the freshness and fruitiness of a young wine and at the same time the intensity that only the Montalcino terroir is capable of delivering. 

Quite simply, you cannot go wrong when you pair this wine with a tomato-heavy dishes. The acidity of a classic Tuscan Italian red wine along with its herb and spice profile interacts beautifully with the acidity of the tomato. So, if you’re enjoying a homemade vegan or vegetarian pizza, go for a rich Sangiovese.


 Château Jean Faure 2018 & Vegan Burgers

One of Saint-Émilion's most prestigious Grand Cru's, located right next door to the famed Château Cheval Blanc. From the oldest surviving wine producing château in Saint-Émilion comes this incredible Grand Cru wine from an historic vintage. A sensationally moreish, fragrant and textured wine created by the renowned Olivier Decelle.

Look into creating a BBQ vegan burger patty with pinto beans, crushed dried shitake mushrooms, olive oil, black pepper, and molasses etc... Add it to the grill to give it more roasted notes. Then, to highlight the pepper-y spice in the wine, place a roasted bell pepper on top of the patty, along with some melted vegan cheese to give the dish more fat.  Finally, put the whole thing on a charred bun. Take a bite and a sip of wine. Bon Appétit…