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So you’ve decided to go vegetarian and need a little help with pairing the right wines to your new cuisine. The great news is that there aren’t necessarily hard and fast rules when it comes to matching red and white wines to vegetarian dishes. 

Sometimes, some experimentation can help you discover something that hits the mark for your tastes. However, that magical match may not be in the list of recommendations from the experts. 

With that in mind, nothing is saying you can’t learn from others’ trials and errors. To get you started, here’s our list of solid matches between wines and vegetarian meals.

three glasses of wine

Cabernet Sauvignon

A rich California Cabernet Sauvignon goes well with veggies from the grill. That’s because its full-bodied flavor is an excellent complement to the tangy and roasted taste of green peppers and veggie shish kabobs. You may also find the wine’s strong tannins pair nicely with the taste of aged cheddar, garlic, and onion. 

Pinot Noir

A favorite of red wine drinkers, pinot noir has a light-bodied taste and silky tannins. This light consistency brings out the flavors of Mediterranean dishes with chickpeas and olives added in.

You can also pair pinot noir with mushrooms and the natural flavors of Asian meals with tofu and legumes. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, this wine goes well with sauces made from fruit.

Zinfandel

Red zinfandel is characterized by full-bodied flavor and bold tannins. This flavor makes it a good candidate for enhancing Mexican and Indian meals. Think dishes like spicy Tandoori eggplant and rice, otherwise known as Baingan Bharta. 

You can also try zinfandel with cheesy bean tacos or burritos. Perhaps veggie fajitas with sour cream and salsa? Or you might try something blander like butter and cream sauces with your zinfandel for dessert.    

Syrah

Syrah is a full-bodied red wine that you can pair with recipes involving cauliflower, barbecue dishes, and parmesan cheese. Fresh salsas made with herbs are another excellent candidate for this wine. Like olives? Syrah will make them taste even better. 

Like cabernet sauvignon, syrah pairs well with grilled and roasted vegetables. This pairing makes it the perfect wine for summertime recipes.

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a dry white wine that’s a staple among connoisseurs and newbies alike. However, there is a range of characteristics and flavors when it comes to chardonnay, depending on the region and country of origin. Some are light and sharp, while others are medium-bodied and smooth. 

Chardonnay is good with risotto and squashes, particularly fall and winter flavors. You might also pair a chardonnay with goat cheese and potatoes. Meals that use legumes and beans are additional solid choices.

Conclusion

Eating a vegetarian diet can improve your overall health and nutrition. Compared to meat-eaters, vegetarians tend to maintain lower body mass indexes over time. Plus, they can get more fresh, daily servings of vegetables and fruits. 

While going vegetarian can take some willpower for some, it’s something to celebrate! There’s no reason not to bring good food and wine together.   

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