Great care and focus is giving into pairing wines with different animal based protein (meat, fish, cheese, etc) but an afterthought is matching wines with seasonal vegetables and vegetarian cuisine. Although, I am not a vegetarian myself and nobody in my household is, however I wanted to share some thoughts about wines for vegans and vegetarians and Pairing wine with vegetables.
Like other food and wine pairing guidelines, what is important in wine-vegetable pairings is to highlight the principal ingredient and find wines that either complement its flavours or provide a contrast to it. In addition, the vegetable cooking method will also play a role in your pairing.
In general, crisp white wines are the best option when eating raw vegetables. However, if there is some cooking involved, it’s a whole different ball game. Likewise in matching wine with animal proteins, simpler preparations require lighter wines, while roasted, grilled, or braised preparations can stand up to some big red wines.
For instance, provencal roses are great with cold lightly grilled vegetables such as asparagus, eggplant, corn, zucchini or mixed green salads. I find that charcoal grilled vegetables such as zucchini, peppers and onions go very well with a full flavoured white such as Chablis.
In conclusion, vegetables have a fantastic depth and variety of flavours, and they are rarely cooked alone. The choice can make it quite fun (not being sarcastic) to find a wine that complements all those flavours.
Great wines for vegans and vegetarians
Léoube Love by Léoube 2020 ( Cotes du Provence)
– SAQ #13711901 $27.25
Beautiful fragrant blend of half Grenache and Cinsault. Fragrant nose of cantaloupe, basil with strawberry and raspberry sorbet. Very elegant with a bright acidity and a finale recalling white peach and citric fruits.
Suggested pairing: Grilled eggplant with balsamic marinade
Chateau Font Freye La Gordonne ( Cotes du Provence)
– SAQ #13384832 $18.40
A Provence rose made predominantly with Grenache complemented by Cinsault and Syrah. Quite ample in the palate with notes of pink grapefruit, autumn leaves, red berries and lavender.
Suggested pairing: Zucchini French Tian
Quinta de Covela Covela Escolha ( Vinho Verde-Portugal) – SAQ # 13629561 $25.60
Expressive nose featuring white fruit such as white peaches and white licorice undertones. Creamy and full body with herbal and mineral flavours. Long finale. Suggested pairing: Grilled oka on the charcoal
Quinta da Raza Alvarinho / Trajadura 2019 ( Vinho Verde-Portugal) – SAQ #13861117 $18.75
On the nose, perfect nuances of white ripe fruits combined with citrus notes. Loved the elusive mineral-saline nuance as well if you pay close attention to the glass. On the mouth, it is balanced with a nice frizzante feeling.
Suggested pairing: Tostones ( fried Green plantains)
Poças Vale de Cavalos Douro 2019 ( Douro, Portugal)
– SAQ # 14064072 $16.65
Lovely citrus aromas recalling grapefruit and lemon peel with a touch of dry pineapple peel and fennel Round, caressing and quite refreshing with a long lingering finale.
Suggested pairing: Grilled fennel with olive oil, sea salt and parmesan cheese
Bonterra Mendocino County Zinfandel 2019 – SAQ # 00530139 $19.05
A beautiful medium body Zinfandel that It’s exuberant yet balanced with a great freshness On the palate, nice savoury and rich black fruit taste with touches of menthol. Well balanced with a lingering finale.
Suggested pairing: Cheese topped grilled tomatoes.
Poderi dal Nespoli Nespolino Romagna 2019 – SAQ# 13913221 $15.95
Pretty fresh aromas of cherries, strawberries and raspberries with the right touch of leather and licorice with a lovely finale.
Suggested pairings: BBQ mushrooms in foil.