Anyone else feel like detoxing? Use these 10 healthy summer vegetarian food and wine pairings!
Here’s the thing: summer barbecues are super fun, but at a certain point, you may lose track of the last time you’ve eaten a vegetable. If this sounds familiar, we feel you.
Thankfully, now’s the time to use all the veggies in your garden to make some delicious – and healthy – summertime meals. And, as you may know, the only way to improve upon a garden-fresh meal on the back patio is with a well-paired bottle of wine.
Whether you’re a strict vegetarian or simply enjoy the occasional #MeatlessMonday, try these easy and wholesome recipes along with a perfectly paired glass of vino.
Hot Tips for Vegetarian Wine Pairings
How do you pair wine with your favorite vegetarian meals? Here are some general guidelines to help you on your veg-friendly vino journey.
When it comes to vegetable-based dishes, think about the primary flavors of the veggies to find a wine to match.
Leafy greens tend to go well with a crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc. Hearty root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and cauliflower pair well with a rich medium-bodied white wine like Chenin Blanc, while beets pair well with a white wine like Grüner Veltliner or a dry Riesling.
Nightshades like tomatoes, eggplant, and bell peppers are pretty flexible. You can choose an aromatic white wine like Chardonnay, a rosé, or medium-bodied – or even full-bodied – red like Merlot, Sangiovese, or Cabernet Sauvignon.
Starchy veggies like sweet potatoes go well with a medium-bodied white like Chardonnay or a fruity red wine like Merlot.
If you’re into meatless meat, you can generally go with the same wine that you’d pair with that type of meat. For instance, seitan burgers – just like hamburgers – pair well with reds or oak-aged white wines.
Finally, when choosing a wine to go with your dish, think about the sauce and the style of preparation. If the sauce is more prominent than the protein, use the flavors in the sauce as your guide.
Healthy Vegetarian Wine Pairings for Summer
1. Light Summer Pasta
For pasta dishes in a light sauce, like this recipe for summer peas with angel hair, choose a light white wine like Pinot Grigio. Red sauce – either homemade or from a jar – pairs well with Chianti. For pesto, go with a Sauvignon blanc or a light, fruity red like Beaujolais.
2. Summer Salads
Sauvignon blanc is a solid choice for greens like spinach, kale, and romaine because of its signature “green” streak. If you like hearty ingredients in your salad – like mushrooms, walnuts, or goat cheese – you could go with a Pinot Noir. If you like your salad topped with creamy avocado or sliced mango, Chardonnay makes for a great pairing.
3. Veggie Burgers
The next time you’re firing up the grill, pair your veggie patties with a crisp white wine like Sauvignon blanc or a rosé. If you prefer rich and earthy portobello burgers, try a Pinot Noir or Malbec.
4. Veggie Skewers
Grilled veggies like zucchini, squash, and peppers pair well with Grüner Veltliner – a lean, light-bodied white wine with peppery notes and tingly acidity – or a dry rosé. If roasted red peppers are in the mix, you can go with a medium-bodied red wine like Chianti.
5. Spicy Curry
6. Stuffed Bell Peppers
7. Summer Succotash
Dishes that feature corn, like this recipe for Mexican Sweet Corn Succotash, pair well with a rich medium-bodied white wine like Chardonnay.
8. Light Flatbreads
When you’re trying to stay healthy, a homemade veggie flatbread or thin-crust tart is a nice alternative to pizza. Flatbreads, like this cherry tomato tart, go with a light Chardonnay like white Burgundy.
9. Quiche & Frittatas
Egg-based dishes are notoriously hard to pair with wine because the yolk can coat the palate. The trick is to choose a lighter, zippier wine to offset the creaminess of the eggs. For a veggie quiche or frittata, go with a light white wine like Pinot Gris or Assyrtiko.
10. Summer Soups
Warm weather is no reason to shy away from soups and bisques. Gazpacho – a cold tomato-based soup from Spain – pairs well with a white wine or rosé with zippy acidity. You could go with a Sauvignon Blanc or Rioja Rosado for traditional or watermelon gazpacho. For vegetarian pho – and many other Vietnamese dishes – you can go with an off-dry Riesling. If you’re feeling cool as a cucumber, try this cool vegan cucumber soup with a light white wine like Grüner Veltliner.