Pairing wine and food is not just a neat party trick; for many, it’s a habit, a ritual and the only way to truly enjoy a meal. Wine is as diverse as food, and you can find a wine style that pairs perfectly with any recipe, whether it’s roast chicken or blue cheese. 

When you pair the right glass of wine with the right dish, magic happens. The result is greater than the sum of its parts; you can make both food and wine taste better.

We’ll talk about the principles of food and wine pairing some other time; today it’s wine pairing 201: Pairing wine with a restrictive diet, in this case, vegan food.

The vegan diet is here to stay; it’s a lifestyle and a statement. Although, not without difficulties, informed people have figured out balanced, nutritious diets that don’t depend on meat, dairy, or any other animal-based ingredient. And because everyone deserves a good glass of wine with dinner. Here are our tips for pairing Miles Wine Cellars wines with vegan food.

White wine is your friend 

We’re always looking to complement our food with wine. Hearty reds with steak, buttery Chardonnays with unctuous lobster, for example, but there are two ways of looking at food and wine pairings, the contrast pairings and the complementary pairings. 

Find a fresh, crisp white wine, one with a lovely acidity like Miles Wine Cellars Dry Riesling, and pair it with any salads, tofu-based dishes, and spring rolls. Sautéed vegetables are great with Riesling too, even sweet & sour and spicy examples. The wine will clean the palate and accompany your meal with no effort. Indeed, a shining example of a contrast pairing.

On the other hand, a nice, oaked Chardonnay will pair incredibly well with roasted vegetables, butternut squash, and quinoa-based dishes. Potatoes and pasta also go really well with an oaky Chardonnay. This would be a complementary pairing.

Vegan proteins

The secret of a healthy vegan diet is having a good base of non-animal proteins. Black beans, chickpea falafel, lentil burgers, are all vegetable-based proteins, and since they are STILL proteins, they will react in the same way as meat when you pair them with a structured red wine like our Cabernet Franc. Try grilled tofu with our Lemberger red wine, and you’ll see what we mean. 

Remember that it’s the cooking method that usually makes a wine pairing successful, more than the protein source. Grilled, smoked and braised vegan proteins and starchy root vegetables are perfect pairings with red wine.

Final Thoughts

Whether you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet or have your own dietary needs, remember that wine is always the perfect addition to your diet. Quite healthy, too, wine just makes everything taste better.