Pairing tips for vegetarian dishes

Nick Baum
By Nick Baum
2 months ago
3 min read

Meat isn’t always the main event; whether you’re eating vegetarian, vegan or flexi, there’s plenty of meals that don’t feature animal protein. So… where to start with your wine pairing?

One less ingredient does mean one less thing to consider, but also gives you a tonne more options to level up any veggie dining experience.

We’ve got a few quick tips for your next non-meat meal based on some general pairing principles. Consider these good bets, but always be true to yourself, mofo.

Grilled/roasted vegetable-based dishes

Barbecues love warm days, and love a wine that has seen its fair share of sunshine. If you’re firing up to grill a few eggplants or throwing some veggie bits on the smoker, think warm, round reds. The same for if you’re roasting - match the warm, slow heat of the oven with something generous. Our picks are Barossa shiraz, grenache, or tempranillo.

Mushroom-based dishes

Mmm mushroom. The go-to when you want to add that earthy-depth to a dish. So depth requires a deep, brooding wine? Depends how deep you want to go mofo. Buckle up.

Pinot noir makes a great buddy for lighter mushroom dishes, though if you’re planning on barbecuing a few hefty portobellos with blue cheese then you can’t go wrong with a shiraz or cab sav blend. Match intensity to intensity with this one - the bigger and bolder the mushroom, the bigger and bolder you can go with the wine.

Tomato-based dishes

If you want a wine to pair tomato-based dishes (shorthand around these parts for pizza or pasta) then think of grapes from their heartlands - Northern Italy and Tuscany. We’re opting for nebbiolo for rich, deep tomato dishes, and sangiovese for when we’re eating a little bit lighter.

Creamy dishes

Making a dish with cream or a non-dairy alternative? The high fat content of dairy or nuts loves to meet a wine that’s high in acid with a touch of creaminess too (if that’s your thing). Think chardonnay, or even champagne if you're looking for that extra touch.

Salads

Salads can be tricky but lean in, we have a cheeky tip… the secret is to pair to the dressing, not the salad. 

Generally we’re leaning towards white wines as they have the zippy acidity we’re looking for to either compliment or cut through the salad dressing. A light zesty, high acid dressing calls for the same wine; think riesling or a pinot grigio. For thick, creamy dressings try opting for a fuller-bodied chardonnay, and for more herbaceous dressings we’d nod in the direction of chenin or sauvignon blanc.

Our top tip above all is don’t stress too much, and remember whichever wine you enjoy drinking is the right drink for you. 

Need a different recommendation? Our Wine Dealers are on hand to help find the wine that you'll love, tailored to your palate. Get in touch and we'll get you started on that wine experience level-up.

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