If you’ve recently made the switch to vegan wine, welcome. We’re very glad you’re here.
As a wine lover or even just a wine dabbler, you might be feeling a bit lost when it comes to a few of the things you’re used to about wine. That’s ok. With any new territory comes new learnings. We hope we can softly (and virtually) take your hand and guide you through to delicious success.
You may be asking yourself an array of questions, such as: how do I now impress my friends at dinner parties? What wine pairs with vegan food? And what really IS aqua faba? We advise avoiding discussion of politics or religion; and aqua faba is kind of weird, magic, chickpea juice. As for wine pairings, we’re here to help.
Why pair wines?
Wine pairing isn’t for everyone. If you have a favourite varietal and your heart is set on a particular dish, by all means drink and eat away. But as with any type of pairing, the idea is that one brings out the best in the other… and vice versa. Why have one great thing when you can have two great things together?
Vegan wine pairing ideologies
We know that’s a big word, but the following are relatively simple concepts to guide you on your way.
When it comes to food and wine, there are matches made in heaven and those made in less desirable places. Historically speaking, standard pairings can include things like oysters with Champagne, fish with delicate white wines, red meat with heavy red wine and dessert with Fortified wine. There’s more to it than that, but you get the idea. Looking toward plant-based meals the game has changed a little, so it means there’s a few new tricks you can use to pair your next wine to your dish.
Watching your weight
No, no! Not like that. We mean the heaviness of your wine should match the heaviness of your food. If your dish is light like a salad, you’re going to want a light, fun wine to pair with it. If your meal is a little more heavy and earthy, you’ll be matching it with a more serious, heavier style red.
Find your cut through
If a dish has an overwhelming texture or flavour, you’ll need a wine that can go toe-to-toe with it, stand up to its bossiness. Creamy sauces, vegan cheese and heavy pasta dishes need something to cut through all the richness. High acidity wines are your way to go here or something with some serious tannins.
Dishes from specific regions often go with wines from specific regions. This can sound overly simple but think about it… there’s hundreds of years of perfect pairings at play here. Pizza tastes so good with Sangiovese, tapas is the best with a Tempranillo. Obviously when it comes to vegan choices vegetables are grown everywhere, but the sauces and flavourings will often have particular origins you can work with to apply this concept.
How sweet it is
When it’s time for your dessert you should always make sure your wine is sweeter than your food. Having said this, simply due to the winemaking process, vegan friendly fortified style wines Tawny and Muscat can be challenging to find. If you are struggling you could always switch to a vegan wine based cocktail at this point. No one will judge you.
Vegan wine pairing specifics
Stick with light or dry whites, or even a minerally Rosé. Try our Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, as they work incredibly well here. Other varietals to give a whirl include Unwooded Chardonnay or Riesling.
Most vegetables you would choose to roast get sweeter the longer you cook them, so you’ll be needing something with a little more acidity to balance that out. Again, our Sauvignon Blanc works well or even a lighter, fruity European style red like a Grenache, Merlot or certain Pinot Noirs can do the trick.
Spicy and herbaceous foods
The Spice Girls said ‘Spice up your life’ and we think you should stick to it. Aromatic whites and Rosés are great for spice lovers so be sure to grab our Pinot Grigio or Rosé here. Mexican and Asian flavours are great friends with these wine styles. Also if your dish contains an abundance of refreshing and zesty herbs you want something that doesn’t try to fight those flavours, so these wine styles are great here too. You’re looking for a party in your mouth, not a brawl.
Legumes, beans and mushrooms
These are all staples in a plant-based diet and therefore need a strong pairing. A heavy red will match those earthy style flavours, and our Shiraz is a great match.
For sweeter desserts perhaps those including stewed fruits or chocolate, you’re best to lean toward something more Fortified. If your dish has fresh fruit though or a creamy element like vegan cheesecake, high acid wines tend to play nice.
The number one top vegan wine pairing tip...
Don’t panic. It’s not too different to the wine pairings you’re used to. Just apply these simple principles and you should be onto a delicious winner or two. And if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.