In this type of food, “bridge” ingredients are fundamental. Do you know which are they?
There are certain vegetables and vegetarian preparations whose taste can change completely when mixed with even the smallest amount of some elements. For example: cheeses, herbs, spices, dressings and “enemies of wine.”
With the help of Concha y Toro sommelier Gabriel Salas we have created the following list of elements to consider when you are searching for a good pairing of wine and vegetarian food:
Salty cheeses (feta, fresh goat) go wonderfully with white wines with good acidity, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. If the cheese is strong and mature, like Gruyere, Roquefort, Mont d’Or, among others, it is best to drink strong red wines with personality, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah (or assemblages).
It depends on how they are used. If used for cooking, it is recommended to accompany with light red wines such as Carmenere, Merlot, Malbec and Syrah, as many tannins could cover the taste of the preparation. If the herbs are fresh, avoid tannins, but increase the proposal with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Malbec.
In general, spices are quite invasive, so you need intense wines. Reds with personality, with good tannic structure: Carmenere, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve could be good connecting bridges. If spices are abundant, then you can use fresh whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Grigio, especially with Indian food.
There are many and not all have lemon. There are vinaigrettes whose mix of ingredients can be a connecting bridge. Examples: Sour sauce with dill goes well with Sauvignon Blanc. Dijon mustard vinaigrette with Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah. Caesar salad dressing, which has anchovies and garlic, with Merlot or Chardonnay with a lot of wood. Obviously, it depends on the preparation.
“Enemies of Wine”:
There are certain ingredients that just do not go well with wine. For example: Asparagus, eggs, lemon or other citrus dressings, vinegar, etc. If it is not much, that’s fine, but if there is a lot, technically speaking, they are not recommended for wine.
And you, what pairing would you recommend?