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6 Tips for Pairing Wine with Plant-Based Meals

 The global population of vegans is growing with every passing day as more and more people embrace a plant-based diet. While just a few years ago, finding high-quality plant-based alternatives was tough, food in that sector is now pioneering the world of cuisine!

But you don’t have to go out to eat delicious plant-based meals. You can enjoy them at home too.

Throwing a vegan dinner party with friends is a fantastic (and delicious) way to celebrate life.

But what about wine pairing?

After all, from a historic perspective, the food most often paired with wine has been meat, seafood, and dairy-based. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the rich, complex flavors of wine alongside some enchanting vegetable dishes. In fact, some plant-based combinations might even be better.

If you want to pair the perfect wine with your plant-based menu, these tips will help!

1.      The Weight Of Your Food Should Match The Weight Of Your Wine

One of the simplest and easiest ways to determine whether a type of wine complements a dish is through its weight. By weight, we don’t mean physical volume, but rather the degree of richness or heaviness you feel when consuming it.

For example, a hearty, intense, full-bodied red wine would not pair well with a light dish like a salad. But alongside a rich, indulgent pasta dish, you’d have a match made in heaven.

On the other side of the coin, when serving up a bright summer salad or refreshing poke bowl, you’d do well to pair it alongside a similarly light wine. This creates a sense of compatibility and harmony with your meal, where neither the dish nor the glass of wine overpowers the other.

2.      What Grows Together, Goes Together

Another key indicator for food and wine compatibility is how and where the ingredients have been grown. There’s a reason why so many famous Italian wines continue to be consumed in the same regions where local produce grows. They just taste better together.

If you live in an area that grows a lot of local produce, serving up dishes made from ingredients grown in the same place that the wine is fermented can create magical flavor pairings. Plus, it’s a great way to support sustainability and reduce your carbon footprint!

3.      Go For Similar Flavor Combinations

Another simple way to determine whether a type of wine pairs well with a certain dish is to match their acidity, sweetness, and depth levels. For example, if you’re serving something with a sour, citrusy dressing, pick a wine with similar levels of acidity to keep them on the same level.

Or if you are serving a spicy dish like Thai vegetable curry, pick a wine that has similarly deep, spiced tones to create synchronization. This gives your palate a way to connect the different flavors and find common ground between the two.

4.      Go For Contrasting Flavor Combinations

On the other end of the spectrum, you can opt for contrasting flavors that create interesting balance and complexity.

So, instead of picking a wine that’s similar to the dish you are eating, pick one that has a completely opposite flavor profile.

If you’re serving a fatty, rich dish like deep-fried hash-browns or creamy pasta, a particularly light and crisp white wine would help to cut through the grease, making a pleasant contrast. Alternatively, a mild bean soup could carry a full-bodied red wine quite well for a meal. 

Another way to determine whether a type of wine pairs well with a certain dish is to match the acidity, sweetness and depth levels.  For example, if you're serving something with a sour, citrus dressing, pick a wine with similar levels of acidity to keep them on the same level.

5.      High Acidity For Savory, High Sugar For Sweet

Savory foods tend to pair better with high acidity wines due to their ability to cut through bold, salty, or spicy flavors. But when it comes to sweet desserts or appetizers, you’re better off with a dry, sweet wine that can properly compete with the sugar levels.

If you drink high-acidity wine with dessert, it can dry out your mouth and cancel out the delicate sweetness of your dish. Similarly, if you drink a sweet wine with savory food, it can cause a strange imbalance of flavors that fight for flavor domination on your palate.

6.      Taste Test To Find Unique Flavor Pairings

Even though there are guidelines for how to pair food and wine, it’s ultimately a matter of personal preference. If you’re not sure whether your wine tastes right with your plant-based meal, give it a try and make a decision based on your natural reaction.

If a flavor combination tastes good to you, chances are it tastes good to others. Plus, experimenting with lots of different wines and food is fun. Just remember to pour small glasses!

Popular Plant-Based Food And Wine Pairings

If you’re still unsure about what kind of wines to serve at your next plant-based date night dinner party, here are some classic combinations to get you started.

       Tomato-based pasta – high acidity, deep red wine

       Roast vegetable salad – light red wine, full-bodied white wine

       Avocado sushi – medium to high acidity dry white wine

       Coconut cream ice cream – light, sweet, high acidity white wine

       Asian stir fry – dry, medium-bodied red wine

       Thai curry – deep, rich, high acidity red wine

       Dark chocolate mousse – high acidity, high sugar red wine

       Butternut squash soup – crisp, dry white wine

       Vegan pizza – medium depth, high acidity red wine

       Red berry sorbet – sweet red or white wine

You don’t need to be a wine or food expert to create delicious, memorable flavor pairings at the table. Use this list as a guide. But remember to keep an open mind and pick what feels right to you.

Perfect The Art Of Plant-Based Wining & Dining

Food and wine have been merrily consumed together for hundreds of thousands of years. And even though animal products have been a common pairing for the rainbow of wines produced throughout history, there’s no reason plant-based dishes can’t bring the same joy and satisfaction.

From delicate vegetable tempura to refreshing strawberry sorbet, there’s a winning combo for every plant-based food and wine lover. With this list of tips, I guarantee that you’ll be throwing a successful vegan dinner party in no time! 

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