Wines that pair well with vegetables
In chilly weather, many people crave having a glass of wine, but not all of them eat a lot of meat.
A nice juicy steak might be the perfect thing, but what options are there in the vegetarian zone? Are there certain wines that are especially vegetable-friendly? Certain ingredients can help vegetarian dishes work well with different kinds of wines?
We spoke to wine expert, Cathy Marston who shared her picks.
Mushroom risotto with Paul Cluver Pinot Noir
The earthiness of the mushroom goes well with the same flavours in the wine and because Pinot Noir is low in tannins, it does not argue too much with the umami notes of the mushrooms.
Tomatoes and Constantia Glen Five
Tomatoes can be tricky because they are high in acidity but if you slow-cook them in a bredie or ragu, then they work perfectly with a high acid red such as Constantia Glen Five. The tannins pair with the meat (if there is any) and the acid in the tomatoes and wine just bring out the best in each other.
Spinach and Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc
Creamy spinach and salty feta go really well together in a spanakopita and that salty or creamy mixture matches perfectly with Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignon Blanc works well with all high-acid cheese – goat’s cheese is also a winner and a classic pairing.
Butternut and Villiera Jasmine
If you are looking at something a bit spicier such as butternut or sweet potato curry, you will need something with a bit of sweetness such as the Villiera Jasmine. A fragrant blend of Muscat, Gewurztraminer and Riesling, it will happily cope with aromatic curry spices as well as have enough intensity to cope with the rich flavours of the vegetables.
Peppers and Stellenrust Chenin Blanc
Peppers are very versatile vegetables and are great to fill with all sorts of ingredients such as rice, other veggies, and cheeses. Peppers themselves have mild aromatics so a dish of stuffed peppers will work best with white wine rather than a red and the Stellenrust Chenin Blanc will do the job perfectly. Ripe yellow stone fruit flavours in the wine will be happy partners for any kind of filled peppers.
Veggies on a braai and Chardonnay
Vegetables on a braai offer lots of great options for wine pairing as well as slightly healthier
Eating. Flat black mushrooms with garlic butter, vegetable kebabs with yoghurt dressing, stuffed peppers or aubergines, parcels of veggies with herbs, and white wine – the options are endless. With so many choices, you need a wine to encompass all these flavours so try a crowd-pleasing unwooded Chardonnay such as the new one from Haute Cabriere.
Cathy Marston has recently partnered with South Africa’s largest and most loved travelling wine show, the TOPS at SPAR Wine Show for a ‘local and lekker - focus on SA wine’ live course. The course started on September, 1 and will conclude on October, 8. For more information you can visit the TOPS at SPAR Wine Show website.