Wine pairing does not have to be limited to cheese and chocolates. You can also pair wines with food you enjoy every day, such as vegetable dishes. Most vegetables have wonderful depth and come in a variety of flavors. Therefore, they are certainly not averse to being paired with the right wine. To help you navigate pairing this duo, below are some guidelines to follow.

Generally, most vegetables contain natural sugars. The sugars vegetables contain can make a person inclined to balance this sweetness with a dry wine or complement it with a fruity wine. Since there is no black or white answer, the decision usually comes down to how the vegetable is prepared and what accompanies it. While this may call for some experimenting, there is some way to determine which wine will best suit your vegetables’ flavors.

Red wines that pair well with vegetables, for instance, are lighter and softer. Furthermore, they often boast a spicy or fruity flavor. Some suggestions include chianti, merlot pinot noir, shiraz, and zinfandel.

Most white wines work well with vegetables, especially the brighter non-oaky wines. If you have a richer dish, then you should opt for an oaky chardonnay. Some white wine suggestions include chardonnay, chenin blanc, gewürztraminer, pinot grigio, riesling, sauvignon blanc, and sparkling wine.

Since it is unlikely that you will be pairing wine with raw vegetables, you should also consider the way vegetables are prepared. For instance, roasting and grilling will caramelize the sugars in vegetables and give them a richness that’s almost meaty. Such vegetables can stand up to savory reds, like merlot, syrah or zinfandel. On the other hand, cream, butter, and cheese add richness and body to vegetable dishes and they tend to pair well with oaky wines, like chardonnay. If you are preparing a spicy dish, then you have two options. The vegetables can either be balanced with a fruity wine, like gewürztraminer, or enhanced with a bolder wine, like merlot. Finally, greens and herbal dishes tend to have a grassy freshness that can be easily overpowered, but pairs well with an equally herbaceous wine, like sauvignon blanc.
With these suggestions in mind, your next meal will truly satisfy your palate.