Matching Vegan Food with Vegan Wine
Vegan Food and Wine:
There are so many possibilities when it comes to vegan food and it’s fast becoming more than just a fad. In terms of a vegan diet, the sky’s the limit with a host of alternatives to protein in the vegan arsenal that can replicate meat and dairy. This ensures that the wine you pair with it can be just as flavoursome to match body, weight and acidity.
Vegan Food & Wine Matching
With vegan food and wine matching, there are no hard and fast rules. You honestly should just try what your gut instinct tells you! A vegan cheese might work equally well with a VF Chardonnay as it does a VF Pinot Noir, as with all pairing it comes down to the sense of balance. Try to think of the weight of the wine compared to the weight of the food. Then, bear in mind, the flavour profile of the wine and the acidity. All of these factors play a part in shaping the harmony of food and wine unions and when you get a match right, it’s like alchemy on the palate taking a meal from ordinary to extraordinary.
If you tend to favour a largely plant-based diet, you may find white wines more appealing than reds, though more earthy and wholesome ingredients like lentils and beans and richly flavoured ingredients such as eggplant and particularly mushrooms can easily handle the tannins of a medium to full-bodied red. Raw dishes tend to work well with crisp whites and rosés. When it comes to a protein replacement, it’s more about the way you cook a dish than the base ingredient. Tofu, for example, has no significant flavour of its own - it depends on what you put with it. Spicy foods benefit from wines with a touch of sweetness like a Pinot Gris or Riesling.
When you have a vegan dish in mind, focus on pairing with the most prominent flavours. For example, if you have spaghetti with a tomato sauce, focus on the acidic tomato flavours that would be complemented by whatever variety you have to hand.
Here’s a quick guide that will help you decide what to match with what in terms of weight, flavour, acidity or umami, and some basic pairing ideas that should help you elevate your next dining experience!
Champagne or Sparkling – crudités with hummus, vegan, vegan arancini with pesto
Sauvignon Blanc – Vegan soft cheese, salads, green vegetables
Chardonnay – Vegan brie or camembert, cauliflower mac and cheese, vegan pizza
Riesling – Vegan Pad Thai, Tofu Satay, Thai Pumpkin curry
Pinot Gris – Salad with garlic mushrooms and vegan cheese, vegan risotto balls
Pinot Noir – Baked mushrooms, mushroom risotto
Shiraz – Vegetable lasagne, Lentil dishes, Eggplant burgers
Cabernet Sauvignon – Eggplant Parmigiana, Roasted vegetables with Rosemary