Pairings | Vegetarian
With media interest in vegan food and vegan-friendly wine at an unprecedented high, you might wonder what sort of wines pair with vegan food best. Is it even OK to drink wine with vegan food? How do I know if my wine is vegan? And how do I craft plant-based wine pairings as good as their carnivorous counterparts? So here's the lowdown.
If you think it’s difficult to pair wine and vegetarian food, think again. It’s no trickier than it is for those who eat meat or fish.
Olive, the UK-based food magazine, has identified cocktail and food pairing as a coming trend in 2009. It's possible but I'm a little sceptical nowadays when it comes to initiatives involving spirits and food. There have been so many false dawns over the last few years (remember cocktail dessert menus?) and I would have thought the current economic climate was the least propitious period to get the idea off the ground. But I could be wrong.
Pulses such as beans are a good friend to the vegetarian winelover - their rich, mealy texture provides a similar foil as meat to a hearty full-bodied red.
This was a question that popped up in our Matching Food & Wine Facebook group so I’ve included a couple of our members' suggestions but it’s well worth following the full thread
When we think of pairing wine with lasagna (or lasagne, whichever way you spell it) it’s probably the meaty version that’s uppermost in our minds but these days, as you know, there are many variations. As with pasta sauces, then, your wine choice should reflect the other ingredients in the dish.
Today is International Grenache Day, a celebration of a grape which is (often anonymously) responsible for some of the most generous and appealing reds in the wine world.
As it's Word Vegetarian Day I thought I'd re-run an article from Decanter on wine and vegetarian food I wrote a few years ago but still contains some useful pointers from top wine producers and sommeliers. (Some of the people quoted are now in different jobs.)
Is it possible to eat vegan food that’s as satisfying, sumptuous, and comforting as their meat-based counterparts? The growing popularity of vegan cuisine – particularly amongst non-vegans – has made the concept of “plant-based eating” enormously trendy, but not always easy. Monica Shaw has picked out six great vegan recipes that even carnivores will love.
It’s a sign of the times that when I first wrote this post 10 years ago I said “Vegetarians often get overlooked at this time of year” That’s obviously no longer the case but veggie - and vegan - options are now so numerous and so diverse it can be tricky to work out which wine would work best with them.
Having eaten Jane Baxter’s food on a number of occasions I was really looking forward to the publication of Leon Fast Vegetarian, the book she’s just written with Leon founder Henry Dimbleby, one of a series of books that has been published by the Leon chain.
Before we finally plunge into winter here's a late autumn supper menu from my book Food, Wine and Friends that combines the best of autumn’s produce with a couple of convenience products.
If you're vegetarian - or catering for one - you expect more than the Christmas sides while everyone else tucks into the turkey. This delicious pie from Rachel Demuth of Demuths Cookery School in Bath fits the bill perfectly.
If you’re used to choosing wine - or other drinks - to match with meat or fish you may be flummoxed when it comes to chosing one for vegetarian friends. But as I explain in my Guardian column today it’s a question of finding out how the wine is made - and in particular whether any animal-based products have been used in the fining process.
Veg is the new chicken - or so it seems from the overnight reincarnation of Bristol chef Josh Eggleton’s fried chicken shack Chicken Shed into a largely vegetarian restaurant called Root.
If you're looking for an impressive vegetarian centrepiece to a spring meal this lovely light recipe from Signe Johansen's and Peter's Yard's book Smörgåsbord, is perfect though if you serve it on its own I think it would probably only feed 4-6! (Only 4 in my family!)
You might be surprised that a nut roast isn’t that different from a conventional roast when it comes to finding a wine pairing. The savoury flavours are designed to act as a satisfying substitute for meat and so work best with similarly full-bodied red wines.
After a lively discussion about what to drink with curry on my #weekendwinematching slot it was good to discover a new angle on pairing wine with Indian food.
It should, I admit, have happened before now but a working weekend away with an overnight stay a chain hotel and a couple of long train journeys has finally convinced me I can no longer eat cheap meat.
The big trend for cookbooks this year is vegetarian food and no-one is better able to hold your hand and give you inspiration than my pal Elly Pear. This delicious weekday recipe, which can be rustled up in 20 minutes, comes from her new book Green.
Those of you who are sceptical about vegan food should try this delicious recipe from Mildreds Vegan Cookbook by Daniel Acevedo and Sarah Wasserman. Yes, it's vegan but omnivores would enjoy it too and the pumpkin seed granola is wonderfully versatile.
A gorgeously hearty, warming vegetable-based dish from Gizzi Erskine's inspiring book Restore which is full of and advice on how to eat ethically and seasonally.
Today marks the start of Organic September and what better way to kick it off than this great recipe from much-acclaimed vegetarian cookery writer Anna Jones, author of A Modern Way to Cook
Tofu has never been my favourite ingredient to be honest but these brilliant smoked tofu 'nuggets' from my friend Elly Curshen's book Let's Eat are positively addictive.
If you're a fellow potato fan you'll absolutely love this warming recipe from Jenny Linford's new book Potatoes.
Beets are everywhere at the moment but have you ever thought of using them in a risotto? And adding a dash of pinot noir?
I've loved all of Meera Sodha's books but her new one, East, which includes vegetarian and vegan recipes from the Indian sub-continent to the far east may be the best yet. And I love the zingy fresh flavours of this mango salad.
The most perfect Provençal-style summer tart from Alex Jackson's evocative book Sardine, named after his former London restaurant although you can now happily find him at Noble Rot Soho.
I recently chaired a panel on women in food at the Abergavenny Food Festival which included the wonderful Zoe Adjonyoh. I hadn't seen her book Zoe's Ghana Kitchen before but discovered it was full of the most delicious recipes, many of them vegan.
With the new season's spring veg springing up in the garden and coming into the shops it's the perfect moment to make these delicious Seasonal Veg Pakora from Grace Regan's appetising new book, Spicebox.
One of the books I'm most enjoying at the moment is Mark Diacono's Herb which is perfectly suited to a man who is a great gardener as well as a cook (and the most engaging writer as well as taking all his own photographs. Sickening, really!)
This delicious salad is inspired by one I ate in a brilliant fast food restaurant called Food Chain in Montreal last year. They shred the vegetables to order then serve them in bowls with an accompanying dressing and topping (mixed seeds in this case).
A new book from Claire Thomson (aka Five o'clock Apron) is always a treat and New Kitchen Basics is no exception. Like all Claire's books it manages to be both practical and inspirational with recipes you can fit in with daily life but which give your cooking a real lift. And they work too. This she describes as 'bombproof'!
I've been lucky enough to eat my friend Romy Gill's food on many occasions - she's an inspired home cook - so it's great to finally see her recipes in print.
The start of Lent is cause for gloom for many people faced with the prospect of giving up something pleasurable like wine or chocolate Not for the Greeks however who kick off their fasting with a splendid celebration called Kathara Defter or ‘Clean Monday’.
It’s partly because not enough restaurants offer the option but I don’t drink sake often enough in Asian restaurants. (And yes, I know Asian is an imprecise term but that’s how many describe the food they offer)
The more I taste authentic Indian food the less I think it causes problems for wine. A group of us cooked up a whole load of recipes on Saturday night including this savoury cake called handvo from Anjum Anand’s I love India.
Just because you're gluten or dairy-intolerant doesn't mean you have to miss out on the barbecue fun as food writer Monica Shaw demonstrates.