12 Vegetarian Food and Wine Pairing Ideas
Serving wine with vegetarian food is the best way to bring out the natural flavours of both your food and drink. The combination of vegetarian food and wine can be a delightful match – especially if you find a wine that can complement the dish or food you’re having. No matter what type of vegetarian or vegan food you enjoy, there is definitely a wine you can pair with it!
Our Vintage Roots food and wine experts have combed through our extensive collection of organic wines to bring you 12 Ways to Pair Wine with Vegetarian Food. This includes wine ideas for popular vegetarian dishes like veggie burgers, vegetarian lasagna and mushroom dishes. So if you’re looking for vegetarian food and wine ideas then look no further, but let’s start with some basics for pairing vegetarian food with wine.
The Basics of Pairing Vegetarian Food and Wine
It would be too difficult to find a specific vintage or wine to pair with each vegetable on the planet – there are THOUSANDS of them, after all! However, the way we recommend you pair your wine is according to the herbs, spices, fats, oils, and sauces that your vegetarian dishes or meals are served with.
Vegetarian dishes have a wide assortment of ingredients that will pair beautifully with many different wines. However, when choosing the right wine, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Which vegetable dominates? The more prominent vegetable will affect the wine you choose.
- How is the food cooked? Deep-fried food will be very different from light, acidic salads or hot casseroles.
- Does it contain meat substitute or legumes? These dishes tend to be richer, and thus require a different pairing.
- How spicy is the dish? The heavier the spice, the lighter and sweeter the wine!
- What region is the dish from? Regional dishes are usually best paired with wines from that same region.
There is no one-size-fits-all rule to any food and wine pairings, but you can definitiely find the right wine to drink according to the dish you are enjoying. Many dishes also have a number of wines that we’ll go well with them. But to give you some ideas, we’ve put together a list of wine and food pairing ideas for 12 popular vegetarian dishes.
12 Simple Vegetarian Food and Wine Pairing Ideas
Vegetarian Food and Wine Pairing #1: Vegetable Lasagne
The rich acidity of this tomato-based dish makes it a perfect match for the ripe flavours and hinted spices of a Jasci Montepulciano. The Italian wine (from the Abruzzo region) is smooth and beautifully drinkable, and will go down nicely as you enjoy the gentler flavours of a vegetarian lasagne.
Vegetarian Food and Wine Pairing #2: Tomato-based Pasta Dishes
Tomato-based pasta dishes have a sweetness that comes from the combination of high-carb pasta and stewed tomato sauces. Without meat to bring the richness, the pasta-based dishes will have a primarily acidic flavour that pairs beautifully with a When We Dance Chianti. Not only is this wine excellent value, but it has a gorgeous cherry tartness that is the perfect complement to these pasta dishes.
White Wines and Vegetarian Pasta Dishes
Don’t be afraid to experiment – white wines and rosés may also suit dishes like pizza and certain pasta dishes with vegetables and herbs. If you’re looking for a white to pair with a tomato-based vegetarian pasta dish, Giol’s Pinot Grigio is a safe and tasty bet.
For dishes creamier sauces with vegetables, for a more full-bodied white, such as a Chardonnay or Viognier. If your sauce has a lot of mushrooms, see our wine pairing suggestion for that below (idea # 4). For a creamier vegetable sauce for pasta, a crisper white or more full bodied one can work too depending on your preferences. A unique choice for a creamy vegetable pasta dish is Fattoria Pagano’s IGT Campania Falanghina.
Special mention: Eggplant Parmesan /Aubergine Parmigiana
Yet another tomato-based dish! Plenty of reds can be paired with this dish, but a good recommendation is the easy-drinking and smooth Mont’albano Refosco / Merlot.
For a white option to pair with eggplant parmesan, something zingy to be able to stand up to a tomato sauce – like Bodegas Piqueras Verdejo Sauvignon Blanc – would be a good choice.
Vegetarian Food and Wine Pairing #3: Mediterranean food
Pairing the right wine with Mediterranean food is a great way to bring out the flavours of the unique herbs, olive oil, and other rich ingredients used to make the many Greek, Lebanese and Sicilian dishes.
The white Sancerre Le Tournebride has a great balance of fruit, dryness and citrus flavour to match herby dishes perfectly – and especially anything with goats cheese in it, like a Greek salad.
Or, for a red, the Santa Tresa Nero D’Avola ‘No sulphur Added’ has great acidity that will make a tasty match and cut through the high fat content of olive-oil rich food.
Vegetarian Food and Wine Pairing #4: Mushroom Dishes
Mushrooms have an unami-heavy flavour, but without actually being a meat. Whether you’re having a mushroom risotto or a pasta heavy on the truffles or mushrooms in a tomato sauce, you’ll want to consider DOCG Barolo Boiolo Camparo.
For mushrooms in a creamy sauce, go for a wine that also has a creamier texture, such as an oak-aged heavier white or even a bready Champagne. With its creamy palate and richness, the oak-aged Domaine Bousquet Reserve Chardonnay makes a delicious partner for creamy mushroom sauces.
Vegetarian Food and Wine Pairing #5: Butternut Squash Dishes
Butternut squash makes beautifully sweet dishes!
Squash provides a richness that pairs wonderfully with lively, yet fruity southern French reds, which makes the rich berried tang of the Côtes du Luberon Rouge a beautiful option for any dishes made with butternut squash.
For a white option, a fuller bodied white like a Viognier or Chardonnay would pair well with butternut squash dishes. With its rich palate, we’d recommend the Cuvee Secrete Viognier No Added Sulphur.
Vegetarian Food and Wine Pairing #6: Veggie Burgers
Veggie burgers made with texturized soy protein have a lot of the richness of regular meat, especially if covered in condiments and sauces. For ideal pairing, we recommend a Domaine Bousquet Malbec.
If you haven’t tried it yet – Malbec is also said to pair perfectly with blue cheese … which also makes a great topping for veggie burgers too!
Vegetarian Food and Wine Pairing #7: BBQ Dishes
For anything that has been sitting on the BBQ grill for a while, the smoky flavours of your grilled food will pair perfectly with the spicy Adobe Carmenere Reserva. This Chilean wine has velvety tannins and a medium structure that complement your BBQ dishes.
For a white option, Emiliana’s Novas Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc Fumé (Fumé=smoked) would be a terrific match for smoky BBQ flavours.
Vegetarian Food and Wine Pairing #8: Asian Vegetarian Food
The heavily-spiced Asian vegetarian dishes should always be paired with aromatic whites. Beetle Riesling is one of our favourite pairings, as the light bouquet of green apples and citrus bring out with the tangy flavours of Asian food.
But a good Adobe Gewurztraminer is one to mix with veggie-heavy noodle dishes, thanks to its flavours of candied fruits and orange blossom.
Vegetarian Food and Wine Pairing #9: Spicy Indian Food
With Indian food, you always get full-on flavours all the time! You need a wine that will help to cut through both the spiciness and greasiness of the food.
A full-flavoured Domaine Bousquet Rosé is able to stand on its own, and it has a fresh elegance that will bring the food to life.
For something stronger and with a bit more fruit, we highly recommend the soft, supple berry flavours of a Stellar Live-a-Little Red.
Or, why not try something completely unique and go with the Meinklang Foam Weiss Pet Nat, an orange Pinot Gris wine with so much flavour, and a dry finish.
Vegetarian Food and Wine Pairing #10: Salads
When pairing wine with vegetarian salads with no meat, you want to make sure the wine is flavourful without overpowering the salad’s acidity. This means you want to go light and dry with your white wine.
Domaine de Pajot Quatre Cepages is one of our favourite whites to pair with a vegetarian salad, as the unoaked blend of four grapes is refreshing and dry with a lighter alcohol content. This would be an ideal fit for a classic green salad with a vinaigrette dressing.
Salads with tomatoes and goats cheese are quite common, and for such a salad we’d recommend the Brochet Facile Sauvignon Blanc with its citrussy flavours.
Vegetarian Food and Wine Pairing #11: Sweet Potatoes
With your sweet potatoes, you want a wine that is rich and able to stand on its own. Vina Ijalba Rioja Crianza is a Spanish Rioja that brings together the flavours of dark berries with cassis, and is the perfect option for those who love a wine that has aged to perfection.
Vegetarian Food and Wine Pairing #12: Lentil Soup
The wine to pair with this soup depends entirely on the texture of the dish. Thinner lentil broths are better eaten alone, but a thick, rich lentil soup is perfect when paired with a San Vito Chianti.
Of course, these are just a few recommendations on wines you can pair with your vegetarian food. Just like there are thousands of veggie-heavy dishes, so too there are wines that will match perfectly with different foods, spices, and herbs. Use our guidelines above to help you as you explore the wonderful world of pairing vegetarian food and wine. You might also enjoy our blog post about vegan food and wine pairings.
Did you know that Vintage Roots has a selection collection of organic vegetarian wines, beers, ciders, champagnes, and fortified wines and liqueurs to choose from? These vintages are made from quality organic ingredients, with processes that are both vegetarian and vegan-friendly. If you are looking for a wine to match your dietary habits, you’d do well to check out our wine cellar!