Updated July 19th 2023
Wine for vegetarian food is not as complicated as you might think. In fact, there are many delicious wine parings with vegetarian food including raw vegetables, curries, grilled tofu and many other veggie dishes. This wine guide will help you find the perfect wine for your vegetarian food.
Most people associate wine paring with the popular expression “red wine for meat, white wine for fish”, and if you are a vegetarian you might think that wine paring with vegetarian food is limited, but that is not true. Many people think it is difficult to pair wine with vegetarian food, but it is not more difficult than with any other type of foods. Vegetarian food offers a huge variety ranging from raw vegetables to creamy dishes and spicy curries. Here are some basic principles to think about when choosing the best wine for your veggie dish.
If yes, choose a wine with a touch of sweetness like Riesling, Pinot Gris or another aromatic white wine. Fruity rosés like white Zinfandel are also a good choice. Spicy vegetable dishes include spicy curries, hot sauce, salsa and dishes with horseradish and ginger.
The way the food is cooked will impact the choice of best wine pairing. Light dishes like raw salad or boiled vegetables are likely to go well with a crispy light bodied white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Chablis. A dry rosé can also be a good match.
If the dish is fried, roasted or baked, like a stew or roasted vegetables, it is likely to pair well with more full-bodied white wines such as a Chardonnay or even a red.
For grilled vegetarian foods, a refreshing rosé is usually a good choice. Dry rosé is versatile and pairs well with grilled vegetables, as well as grilled halloumi cheese or even grilled tofu. A food-friendly medium-bodied red like Merlot or Sangiovese can also be great with your grilled veggies. Marinated vegetables on the grill can get an almost meaty texture and flavor.
Tips! If you want to know more about the best wine for grilled vegetarian foods, you can read our wine guide for bbq food.
Deep-fried food always pairs well with bubbles. Choose a sparkling wine like Prosecco for your vegetable tempura.
If yes, pair it with a creamy, oaked Chardonnay. Oak gives the wine buttery flavors that pair well with the creaminess of the dish. Creamy vegetarian dishes include those with cream-based sauces, but also vegan substitutes made of soy, coconut, cashews or almonds.
If yes, match it with a wine with no tannins. The tannins in the wine will increase the bitter taste. All red wines contain tannins, so you might want to stay away from those. A crisp herbaceous white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or a frizzy sparkling like Cava will be good options.
Many raw vegetables are bitter, especially the following:
Other examples of bitter foods are grapefruit, dark chocolate and artichoke.
If yes, such as a light salad seasoned with with citrus or balsamic vinaigrette, pair the food with acid wine such as a crisp Alvarinho, Chablis or Riesling. Heavier dishes with tomato-based sauces can be paired with red wines with medium-high acidity, like Sangiovese or Chianti.
If yes, match it with an equally rich red wine with high tannins such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Barolo or Syrah. Rich white wines are oaked Chardonnay, Viognier and Sémillon. Rich vegetarian dishes usually include lots of cheese, cream, butter and nuts.
If yes, pair it with an earthy, light red wine such as Pinot Noir. Earthy vegan dishes such as mushroom risotto, mushroom pasta, or dishes with tahini sauce pair great with a glass of Pinot Noir.
We hope this wine guide helped you find the best wine for your vegetarian food. If not, try using our digital pairing tool , which helps you find wine recommendations for specific dishes.
Enjoy your food and wine!