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Vegetarian pairings for heavy reds

Don’t forget that a decent, full-bodied merlot can also work well


And I agree with you partially too.

In that as a veggie I certainly notice a very small amount of meat in dishes. But rather than powerful I think it is a very particular and unique flavour which is certainly difficult to replicate. But I find that some of the least successful vegetarian dishes try and do just that, make veggie versions of meat dishes. Similarly I have vegans around me and I find attempts to emulate vegetarian or meat dishes a flop whereas when they just do vegan cooking things start to get interesting and coherent.


Agreed. As a vegetarian of nearly 32 years, veggie versions of meat dishes really do not work that well because it is extremely hard to replicate the smell and taste from rich, fatty meats or meat stock.

Hence, I’m not much of a full-bodied red wine drinker (Beaujolais is my red of choice), but I did enjoy a full-bodied Merlot / Cab Souv blend with a parmigiana. Sadly, not going to help @Andy999 if he doesn’t like aubergine.

On a different tangent, could one of you kindly direct me (link) to a thread where people share their wine and veggie [vegetarian / vegan] food pairings, please? Yes, my LMGTFY plea :wink:


For the avoidance of confusion (I love that phrase!), I don’t dislike aubergines and happily eat them. BUT I would like to drink good strong red wines much more often than I’d like to eat aubergines. Apologies if I wasn’t very clear in my initial post!

Haven’t got my seitan ingredients yet but with all the pressures of lockdown I simply haven’t found the time - so little to do, so much time!


Well it’ll be easier for you to match full wines more than my sister who is vegan.

But luckily there are quite a few Mediterranean dishes that are already vegan, and vegetarian which can be adapted to vegan, with many ingredients available today.

Engevita and Yeast extracts are certainly useful to fill out the lack of cheese, in parmigiana, for example, and to make a lasagna with soy or other plant milk, not the same, obviously, there are flavours that are unique, but certainly makes it flavoursome.

As has been mentioned Bean and Pasta dishes certainly are useful match for some fuller wines.

One is a traditional italian dish, which is a borlotti bean & tomato sauce for pasta. so should hit all the spots… :slight_smile:


You’ve reminded me: pasta e fagioli. However, last time that I made it involved overnight soaking, followed up with 3 hours of cooking. Too much work for an everyday meal (likewise full-bodied red wine as my partner doesn’t like wine), but will try when cooking for guests (post May 17th).

Well, there are 2 options to help here:

A: Use a tin or jar of beans, yes, they are less flavoursome and they are softer, but they’re not unpleasant and usually (up till now) fairly easy to find (Tins and jars of Borlotti, or Rosecoco (which are the same bean as Borlotti) and also Cannellini beans (which can be substituted by Alubias Blancas)) for a quick solution for everyday meals if you fancy them when you don’t have any ready. Also useful for bean salads and the like.


B: The main solution to this issue is, particularly for sauces that you know everyone likes, and might be eaten every so often, when you make a ‘proper’ batch, make 2 or 3x the amount you need, then jar/clip box it up, and shove it in the freezer. - Instant sauce. It works for any stewed tomato sauces.

Now that’s a different issue altogether, but fortunately, the particular wine to be served is not necessarily dictated by the dish of the day… Especially when they are vegetable based…

One where it is more of an issue is in fish, I know someone who’ll have red wine with fish. For me, the majority of fish dishes, that doesn’t work.

But each to their own. I mean, the old tradition of F&C with a cup of tea… I find that really unpleasant.

But veg based dishes, and even many chicken dishes, it matters less.


As another long standing veggie (over 40 years now) I feel your need. But sadly I think this is the closest thread to this topic that I’ve seen. Worth keeping an eye on the food sections of the TWS site as they occasionally have some good recipes.

Which reminds me of another really nice dish that stands up well to robust reds:

I use dried black beans but they don’t really need a long soak. I use Rose Elliot’s hot soak method. Actual time varys according to bean and batch but approximately: Cover beans well, bring to boil for a couple of minutes (I give a rapid 10 minute boil as this deals with red kidney bean (and others) issues), leave to soak in the hot water for about an hour and then. Rinse thoroughly and then boil for about 30 to 60 mins.

We both gave up meat many moons ago and have developed a regime on the heavier wine to ‘go with’ that is sort of:

Italian reds, mushroom based risottos, Tuscan bean stews, mushroom lasagne with
Bordeaux reds more mushroom based dishes for Paulliac and St Estephe; Baked Camembert St Emilien. Cheeses having Beaufort or similar can take the best, if they are the best
Chateau Musar type Lebanaise reds, spiced vegetable cous cous
We are very fond of Beaujolais with many of Ottolenghi’s Middle East dishes but I may be off course there.

Anyway we journey on having made countless mistakes on the way , that’s trial and error for you but …highly recommend !