10 Healthy Summer Vegetarian Food and Wine Pairings

Anyone else feel like detoxing? Use these 10 healthy summer vegetarian food and wine pairings!

Here’s the thing: summer barbecues are super fun, but at a certain point, you may lose track of the last time you’ve eaten a vegetable. If this sounds familiar, we feel you.

Thankfully, now’s the time to use all the veggies in your garden to make some delicious – and healthy – summertime meals. And, as you may know, the only way to improve upon a garden-fresh meal on the back patio is with a well-paired bottle of wine.

Whether you’re a strict vegetarian or simply enjoy the occasional #MeatlessMonday, try these easy and wholesome recipes along with a perfectly paired glass of vino.

Hot Tips for Vegetarian Wine Pairings

How do you pair wine with your favorite vegetarian meals? Here are some general guidelines to help you on your veg-friendly vino journey.

When it comes to vegetable-based dishes, think about the primary flavors of the veggies to find a wine to match. 

Leafy greens tend to go well with a crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc. Hearty root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and cauliflower pair well with a rich medium-bodied white wine like Chenin Blanc, while beets pair well with a white wine like Grüner Veltliner or a dry Riesling.

Nightshades like tomatoes, eggplant, and bell peppers are pretty flexible. You can choose an aromatic white wine like Chardonnay, a rosé, or medium-bodied – or even full-bodied – red like Merlot, Sangiovese, or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Starchy veggies like sweet potatoes go well with a medium-bodied white like Chardonnay or a fruity red wine like Merlot.

If you’re into meatless meat, you can generally go with the same wine that you’d pair with that type of meat. For instance, seitan burgers – just like hamburgers – pair well with reds or oak-aged white wines.

Finally, when choosing a wine to go with your dish, think about the sauce and the style of preparation. If the sauce is more prominent than the protein, use the flavors in the sauce as your guide.

Healthy Vegetarian Wine Pairings for Summer

1. Light Summer Pasta 

For pasta dishes in a light sauce, like this recipe for summer peas with angel hair, choose a light white wine like Pinot Grigio. Red sauce – either homemade or from a jar – pairs well with Chianti. For pesto, go with a Sauvignon blanc or a light, fruity red like Beaujolais.

light summer salad

2. Summer Salads 

Sauvignon blanc is a solid choice for greens like spinach, kale, and romaine because of its signature “green” streak. If you like hearty ingredients in your salad – like mushrooms, walnuts, or goat cheese – you could go with a Pinot Noir. If you like your salad topped with creamy avocado or sliced mango, Chardonnay makes for a great pairing.

3. Veggie Burgers

The next time you’re firing up the grill, pair your veggie patties with a crisp white wine like Sauvignon blanc or a rosé. If you prefer rich and earthy portobello burgers, try a Pinot Noir or Malbec.

Veggie skewers - vegetarian food and wine pairing

4. Veggie Skewers

Grilled veggies like zucchini, squash, and peppers pair well with Grüner Veltliner – a lean, light-bodied white wine with peppery notes and tingly acidity – or a dry rosé. If roasted red peppers are in the mix, you can go with a medium-bodied red wine like Chianti.

Cauliflower curry

5. Spicy Curry

Cauliflower curry with turmeric and coconut milk pairs well with an aromatic white wine like Gewürztraminer or an off-dry Riesling. Tomato-based dishes like Chana Masala go well with a peppery Syrah.

6. Stuffed Bell Peppers

Vegetarian stuffed peppers with veggies and grains pair well with a light red wine like Pinot Noir. When lentils are in the mix, you could go with a Cabernet Sauvignon.

7. Summer Succotash

Dishes that feature corn, like this recipe for Mexican Sweet Corn Succotash, pair well with a rich medium-bodied white wine like Chardonnay.

8. Light Flatbreads

When you’re trying to stay healthy, a homemade veggie flatbread or thin-crust tart is a nice alternative to pizza. Flatbreads, like this cherry tomato tart, go with a light Chardonnay like white Burgundy.

egg muffins - vegetarian food and wine pairing

9. Quiche & Frittatas 

Egg-based dishes are notoriously hard to pair with wine because the yolk can coat the palate. The trick is to choose a lighter, zippier wine to offset the creaminess of the eggs. For a veggie quiche or frittata, go with a light white wine like Pinot Gris or Assyrtiko. 

10. Summer Soups

Warm weather is no reason to shy away from soups and bisques. Gazpacho – a cold tomato-based soup from Spain – pairs well with a white wine or rosé with zippy acidity. You could go with a Sauvignon Blanc or Rioja Rosado for traditional or watermelon gazpacho. For vegetarian pho – and many other Vietnamese dishes – you can go with an off-dry Riesling. If you’re feeling cool as a cucumber, try this cool vegan cucumber soup with a light white wine like Grüner Veltliner.

In Vino Finito

Who knew that eating healthy could taste so good? If you’ve got other veggies in your garden and you need help picking a wine to pair with dinner, email us and we can help.

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Bright Cellars

Our staff is full of passionate wine lovers. With our amazing sommeliers at the helm, we’ve been schooled on all things wine. We came together to write this article, in hopes of spreading a little wine-ducation with you.

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