6 good wine pairings for aubergine/eggplant
Aubergine - or eggplant as it’s called in the US - doesn’t have a strong flavour of its own but tends to enrich any dish in which it’s included especially when baked with tomatoes and cheese.
The best wine pairing I think is a hearty dry red with some acidity unless you’re serving it cold as in a baba ganoush or spicy aubergine salad.
* Italian reds - especially southern Italian and Sicilian reds with their dark slightly bitter hedgerow fruit seem made for aubergines. Try a Negroamaro, Copertino or Primitivo (see also Zinfandel below)
* So do Greek, Turkish and Lebanese reds with their wild briary flavours. Unsurprisingly since aubergine is such an important ingredient in that part of the world. Once that would have been pretty unhelpful advice as wines from those countries were hard to get hold of - now even Marks & Spencer includes them in its range.
* Provençal reds especially those that are made from or include Mourvèdre in the blend - like Bandol
* Zinfandel - always good with rich vegetable bakes like moussaka but stick to the younger fresher styles. Killer Zins of 15% plus will overwhelm eggplant.
* For cold aubergine dishes such as baba ganoush or aubergine salads or try a crisp dry Provençal or southern French rosé or Spanish rosado. I'm also really into amber/orange wines with grilled aubergines and aubergine salad as in this recent pairing with grilled aubergines and walnut sauce.
* For lighter aubergine dishes such as a tian of aubergine and aubergine parmigiano* try a medium-bodied Italian red such as a Chianti or other Sangiovese-based red.
* or, since I was rightly corrected, a veggie substitute for parmesan if you're a vegetarian.
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