Best Wine and Veggie Pairings: A Guide for Wine Lovers

Impress your friends, share with your family, or unwind by yourself with these delicious vegetarian dishes paired with the perfect wines. 

This blog has selected some of the most popular vegetarian foods and paired them with popular wines so that you can cook up a meal that is sure to be memorable!

The recipes call for garden-fresh ingredients such as asparagus, carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini, eggplant, artichokes, beets, and herbs like cilantro, parsley, and chives, making them perfect for harvesting from your own garden!

Pinot Noir with portobello mushroom burgers

  • Why it works: The earthy and meaty flavors of portobello mushrooms are a perfect match for the light-bodied red wine, Pinot Noir. 
  • Tip: Add caramelized onions and goat cheese for an extra layer of flavor.

Sauvignon Blanc with asparagus and goat cheese salad

  • Why it works: The good acidity of Sauvignon Blanc balances the freshness and crunchy texture of asparagus and the creamy tang of goat cheese.
  • Tip: Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice to enhance the dish’s flavors.

Chenin Blanc with sweet potato and black bean tacos

  • Why it works: Chenin Blanc’s versatile profile pairs well with the sweetness of sweet potatoes and the heartiness of black beans. It’s a great match for a slightly spicy dish.
  • Tip: Top with avocado and a squeeze of lime for added freshness and smoothness in each bite.

Pino Grigio with zucchini noodles in tomato sauce

  • Why it works: The light, crisp nature of Pinot Grigio complements the acidity of the tomato-based sauce and the delicate flavor of zucchini noodles.
  • Tip: Sprinkle with black pepper and fresh basil to intensify the flavors of the tomato sauce.

Dry Rosé with grilled vegetable skewers

  • Why it works: The crisp nature of dry rosé complements the charred, smoky flavors of grilled vegetables like red peppers, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes.
  • Tip: Add shrimps to the skewers to add to the texture to make it the perfect bite.

Off-Dry Riesling with spicy Thai peanut noodles

  • Why it works: The slight sweetness of an off-dry Riesling balances the spicy flavors of Thai peanut noodles, creating a harmonious and complementary pairing.
  • Tip: Add fresh cilantro, chives and crushed peanuts for extra texture and flavor.

Cabernet Franc with eggplant parmesan

  • Why it works: The medium-bodied, slightly tannic nature of Cabernet Franc pairs well with the rich, tomato-based sauce and the robust flavors of eggplant parmesan.
  • Tip: Top with fresh basil and a sprinkle of aged Parmesan cheese to enhance and complement the dish.

Sweet Rosé with ratatouille

  • Why it works: The citrus notes and crisp acidity of Pinot Gris pair wonderfully with the bright, tangy flavors of lemon-garlic hummus and the freshness of raw veggies.
  • Tip: Serve with vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers for a colorful and fresh appetizer.

Pinot Gris with lemon-garlic hummus and raw vegetables

  • Why it works: The citrus notes and crisp acidity of Pinot Gris pairs wonderfully with the bright, tangy flavors of lemon-garlic hummus and the freshness of raw veggies.
  • Tip: Serve with vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers for a colorful and fresh appetizer.

Cabernet Franc with stuffed bell peppers

  • Why it works: The herbaceous and slightly spicy notes of Cabernet Franc enhance the flavors of stuffed bell peppers filled with quinoa, black beans, and spices.
  • Tip: Aged cheese works wonders as a topping for the bell peppers, especially immediately after they come out of the oven. Add a sprinkle of fresh chives to intensify the flavors.

Sauvignon Blanc with grilled artichokes and lemon aioli

  • Why it works: Sauvignon Blanc’s zesty acidity cuts through the richness of lemon aioli, and complements the smoky, nutty flavors of grilled artichokes.
  • Tip: Squeeze extra lemon juice over the artichokes just before serving to increase the freshness

Sparkling Wine with vegan sushi rolls

  • Why it works: Sparkling wine’s effervescence and slight sweetness make it a brilliant choice to balance the flavors of avocado, cucumber, bell peppers and seaweed sushi rolls
  • Tip: Wasabi, ginger root, and soy sauce add a kick to each bite.

Chardonnay with herb-roasted Brussels sprouts

  • Why it works: A dry white wine like a crisp Chardonnay or a Grüner Veltliner pairs well with the savory, slightly bitter taste of roasted Brussels sprouts, intensifying their caramelized edges.
  • Tip: Add a sprinkle of toasted nuts like peanuts or almonds for extra texture and flavor.

Merlot with mushroom risotto

  • Why it works: Merlot’s smooth, medium-bodied profile with hints of plum and chocolate complements the rich, earthy flavors of mushroom risotto enhancing the creamy texture and umami notes of the dish.
  • Tip: Try a medley of mushrooms like cremini, shiitake, and porcini for a more complex flavor profile.

Zinfandel with spicy black bean chili

  • Why it works: The bold, fruity profile of Zinfandel stands up to the hearty, spicy flavors of black bean chili.
  • Tip: Serve with a dollop of sour cream and fresh cilantro for a cooling contrast.

Sancerre with goat cheese and beet salad

  • Why it works: Sancerre’s crisp acidity and mineral notes complement the earthy sweetness of beets and the tangy creaminess of goat cheese.
  • Tip: Add honey-roasted walnuts and arugula for extra crunch and peppery notes.

Unoaked Chardonnay with avocado and citrus salad

  • Why it works: Unoaked Chardonnay’s crisp acidity and light body make it a great match for the creamy avocado and zesty citrus in this refreshing salad.
  • Tip: Use black olives and a sprinkle of sea salt to highlight the flavor profiles.

Pinot Noir with roasted root vegetables

  • Why it works: Pinot Noir, with its light-bodied and earthy profile, is a great choice to pair with the sweet and earthy flavors, and crunchy texture of roasted root vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and parsnips.
  • Tip: Use aged cheese of your preference to give the vegetables a kick to round the flavor profile.

Albariño with grilled asparagus

  • Why it works: Albariño’s bright acidity and subtle fruitiness make it a perfect match for the smoky, slightly bitter flavors of grilled asparagus. This light-bodied white wine complements the vegetable’s natural flavors.
  • Tip: Drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with sea salt and crushed pepper before plating.

Merlot with eggplant lasagna

  • Why it works: Merlot’s smooth and fruity profile complements the layers of flavors in eggplant lasagna by enhancing the richness of the tomato sauce and creaminess of the cheese.
  • Tip: Add a sprinkle of fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil on top for extra freshness.

Final thoughts

Disclaimer: Each dish can be paired with more than one wine, but these are popular pairings commonly suggested in restaurants.

Many wines have the ability to highlight and enhance the taste of a meal, and if one pairing doesn’t work, feel free to try another option. That's the beauty of pairing wines and meals—it's an ever-evolving exploration. Some people stick to what they know for years because it's a foolproof, amazing combination, while others enjoy pushing the limits and discovering different flavor combinations.

Enjoy exploring these combinations and finding your favorites!


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