Friday, May 21, 2010

Wine Pairing for Vegetarians and Vegans

With Memorial Day just around the corner, and the official kick-off to barbecue season and summertime following quickly on its heals, I’ll be offering wine recommendations throughout next week, in addition to the usual assortment of links, articles, and commentaries.

As a lead-up to that, though, I wanted to link an article that ran in the San Francisco Chronicle late last month on wine pairing for vegetarians and vegans. This is a subject that not only often goes under-reported, but that also gets mis-reported: Just because a person doesn’t eat meat or other animal products does not mean that they can’t find some remarkable wine pairings.

The article begins: “It's the classic pairing mantra: red with beef, white with chicken or fish. But what if the winemaker is a vegetarian?”

This is a big issue for vegetarians, especially this time of year, with its focus on grilled meats and other quintessentially summery foods.

But, “as winemaker Thomas Houseman of Anne Amie Vineyards in Carlton, Ore., points out...’Anything that you can pair with meat, if you think about it stylistically, it's easy enough to pair with either vegetables or meat alternatives,’ says Houseman, a former cook and a vegetarian since high school.”

So what are the tricks? Read the full article, linked up right here, for a complete rundown. But for a quick primer, take a look at the tips below, which also ran with the article.

“Cooking styles can be a hint. If the traditional pairing is roasted meat, try roasted root vegetables instead. Instead of duck and Pinot Noir, try a platter of oven-roasted root vegetables. A meaty grilled portobello mushroom is another option.

“Winemaker Thomas Houseman likes Pinot Noir with french fries. To go all out, toss the fries with truffle oil, salt and maybe a dusting of fennel pollen.

“Pizza and rustic Tempranillo can be good partners. The same is true of a vegan pizza made with lots of vegetable toppings and soy cheese, says winemaker Jon Grant, a vegan.

“For a challenging pairing like asparagus or artichoke, Grant adds lemon and salt to offset the umami, or savoriness, of the vegetables and bring the flavors into balance.

“When in doubt, try sparkling wine.”


Tecknik on June 23, 2010 at 9:43 AM said...

This is wonderful information. I'm having a summer bbq/wine tasting party on 7/10 and will have quite a few vegetarians in attendance.

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