How to Pair Wine with Vegan and Plant-Based Dishes

by | Nov 2, 2018 | Entertaining, Home | 0 comments

Have you ever read a wine-pairing guide and felt completely disenchanted when you realized each wine type is described accompanying an animal dish? Yes, me too.

These traditional wine-pairing guides are a reflection of what used to be considered “the way we eat”.

Therefore you would rarely find wine pairings that mention vegan or plant-based dishes and how to even go about putting these together.

In case you are wondering, the difference between vegan and plant-based dishes is that vegan meals might include mock meats and other processed items, while plant-based dishes are just that, vegetables, grains, seeds, fruits, etc.
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If you are ready to host your very own vegan dinner party, and would like some help with finding the perfect wine for each dish, below is a simple guide to help you pair your dishes.

Reds Wines:

Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Pinot Noir

Great with hearty dishes such as stews, lentil loaves with mashed potatoes, pasta with marinara sauce and veggie meatballs.

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White Wines:

Chardonnay, Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling

These wines pair well with pasta dishes with creamy sauces, salty appetizers, salads or dishes with tart dressings.

Also dishes with earthy flavors such as mushrooms and truffles, vegan chicken and seafood, curry, spicy Asian dishes, and risotto.

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Rosé Wines:

Zinfandel, Syrah

Roses delicate flavors pair well with a vegan cheese tray or a bean pâté, olives and hummus.

It also works well with more decadent dishes, such as a veggie burger or pizza!

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Dessert Wines:

Moscato, Asti Spumante, Riesling

These sweeter wines are fabulous with fruit tarts and other fruit dishes.

A great way to end any meal!

Is your wine vegan?

You read that correctly. It turns out that most wines are not vegan or vegetarian. 

frown
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How is this possible? Besides the fact that some wines might have honey as an ingredient, it turns out that the clarifying (or filtering) process can use many animal derived products to achieve the desired results.

Things such as fish bladder, gelatin, egg whites and milk protein are common agents for this process.

Many wine companies are starting to list Vegan Friendly labels, but it’s still not very widespread, unfortunately.

Also many people are starting to look for organic wine brands and artisan style wines. These are not necessarily vegan, but they can offer other benefits such as reduced amount of pesticides and other less desirable ingredients.

For more information on vegan wines, I recommend this article as well as this online database for vegan wine, beer and liquor (yup, your beer and favorite liquor might not be vegan either).

Check the label next time you go wine shopping and if you purchase your wine from the manufacturer directly, be sure to ask them if their wines are vegan.

The more we request for labeling of vegan wines and spirits, the higher the demand and hopefully we will see a change in the store shelves sooner rather than later. But in the meantime we have to do our very own detective work, I’m afraid.

Side Note: there’s no need to make entertaining complicated

Start with champagne and appetizers, and then serve a wine that complements your main course, and serve it for the entire meal.

Have fun and experiment with different dishes, you might come up with your very own unique pairing!

Remember to be kind to yourself, too! If you are not ready to make the change to vegan wines for instance, take your time to learn and experiment with it when you’re ready. Same for the organic and sustainable labels.

 

I would love to know what you have come up with, and if you have a favorite vegan wine brand! Share with us in the comments!

Much love,

Angélica Renée

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