Top pairings | The best wines to pair with beetroot

Top pairings

The best wines to pair with beetroot

Beetroot is one of the few vegetables that pairs better with red wine than with white - not only for the colour though that tends to put the brain on auto-suggest - but its rich, earthy sometimes sweet flavour.

True it’s often partnered with other ingredients that can affect the wine match - it goes well with rare game like pigeon, duck and venison, for example, but that’s still red wine territory (pinot noir in particular for me). Other fruity reds that generally work include dolcetto, blaufrankisch and mencia.

Good pairings for beets

Beetroot risotto

Beetroot makes a deliciously rich, flamboyantly pink risotto, better made, as you can see from the recipe below with red wine than with white. Pinot noir or dolcetto would be a perfect match for this.

Beetroot and pinot noir risotto

 

Beetroot risotto with pinot noir

Beetroot tarte tatin

Beetroot can also be cooked until it caramelises when it acquires a more intense sweetness that can handle a richer, more full-bodied red from, say, the southern Rhone or the Languedoc (the classic grenache/syrah/mourvedre blend, for instance). But malbec would work too.

Borscht (beetroot soup)

More of a beer dish than a wine one, to be honest. A good pils would be perfect. Or even a shot (or two) of frozen vodka

Beetroot salads

Beetroot salads often include some kind of sharp-flavoured cheese such as goat’s or feta cheese or yoghurt and herbs such as chives or dill. Although a fruity red like pinot would still be fine if that's what you fancy the cheesy element would steer me in the direction of a crisp white wine such as a sauvignon blanc or an albarino, as I discovered a while back in this match of the week. Especially as you might have other white wine-friendly ingredients such as asparagus broad beans, peas or salad leaves in the dish.

And beets, of course, are not always red. With stripey chiogga or yellow beets you might want a richer white like a white Côtes du Rhône.

Beetroot dips, spreads and purées

Often part of a selection of different Middle-eastern-style mezze. Dry rosé is a good all-rounder with this kind of spread.

Beetroot cured salmon

Sometimes beetroot is used to cure salmon in which case it becomes more about the salmon than the beet. A couple of years back I found a very good match in furmint, a versatile dry Hungarian wine that can take a number of dishes in its stride. You can read about the pairing here. On another occasion it was Godello from the north of Spain that scooped the prize. Dry riesling would work well too.

 

Got other ideas? Do email your favourite pairings to us at greatmatches@matchingfoodandwine.com. To subscribe to our free monthly newsletter and be eligible to enter our fabulous prize draws click here or to get notice of posts as soon as they're published click here.

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