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Vegetarian Wine Pairings

The first thing we hear when talking about wine and food pairings is red wine with red meat and white wine with fish, but what about vegetarians? If you’re planning a dinner party or simply want to ensure your vegetarian friends are able to enjoy a meal out as much as the rest of the group, then knowing how to match up vegetarian foods and wines really helps. Below is a closer look at the right combinations to satisfy every vegetarian palate.

White Wine Pairings

Summery and fresh, most white wines are easily paired with a range of vegetarian dishes but consider these options:

Pinot Grigio

The light and fresh flavour of pinot grigio is a perfect partner for fresh pasta and salad dishes, raw food meals and those incorporates gouda cheese. The lightness of the flavours are perfect when enjoyed together.

Riesling

Ideal for more exotic meals, the light flavour of Riesling pairs well with Thai cuisine, Vietnamese meals and surprisingly Creole and Southwestern USA-inspired food, including (unexpectedly) barbecue sauce.

Chardonnay

With many differently flavoured Chardonnays on the market you can find everything from fresh and crisp offering to those with a buttery, medium-bodied flavour. This makes it a very versatile choice for vegetarian meals perfect for serving with potato or squash based dishes as well as risotto or creamy goat’s cheese.

Red Wine Pairings

Naturally fuller bodied and richer in flavour, red wines are a little harder to match with vegetarian foods but it’s certainly possible:

Pinot Noir

A lighter red wine, with smooth tannins pinot noir is a great choice for mushroom-based dishes, many of which you’ll find in Mediterranean in Asian-inspired dishes. It also works fantastically with fruit-based sauces.

Grenache

With soft, tempting tannins Grenache tends to be medium-to-full bodied and is a wonderful partner for light Italian meals, freshly grilled vegetables such as peppers and aubergine. It’s also wonderful with the Italian cheese fontina.

Malbec

The strong tannic flavour of Malbec requires a strong and distinctive food pairing. It’s a great choice of Cajun inspired meals, barbecue foods, baked potatoes and foods liberally flavoured with fresh black pepper.

It is also worth remembering that some wines are not vegetarian friendly so always make sure to check before purchasing.

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The World’s Finest Wine Regions

Many countries around the world produce wines of different qualities and styles, but there are some that stand out, for different regions. Although most of us already know the “top” wine regions, it’s always worth refreshing our knowledge and ensuring we know where to look when looking to restock our wine cupboard. When you look to buy wine online with The Fine Wine Company you can easily browse our site using the many different filters to find the exact wine you’re looking for. Below is a closer look at five of the world’s key wine regions.

France

The only place to start. Discussing the world’s finest wine is not possible without mentioning France. There are ten unique wine regions in France, each with its own specialty. The finest white wines come from Alsace in the East while Beaujolais is renowned for reds. Bordeaux offers a balance right in the middle and of course, no one can mention France without mentioning the celebrated area of Champagne.

Italy

Italy is the world’s largest producer of wine, recently overtaking France. There are twenty different wine regions across Italy and because of the unique shape, size and area the country covers, each region’s flavour is distinct. Regions such as Sicily, Lombardy and Tuscany produce everything from the finest, most expensive wines to those for the regular wine enthusiast.

Spain

Spain is the world’s third largest wine producer. Over one million acres of Spanish soil is used for growing grapes. Spanish reds have a truly distinctive flavour but their whites are becoming more popular too, with a crisp freshness which has become popular since New World wines have come onto the scene. Another bonus with Spanish wines is that they are usually available at a much more attractive price than those of France or Italy.

Argentina

In the top five wine producing countries in the world, Argentinian wine has gained a much more positive reputation in recent years. It has a strong international presence and the wines of the region Mendoza particular are notable for their high quality.

USA

While American wine isn’t all about California it does make up the bulk of their production. In fact, 90% of American wine is grown in California and varying qualities can be found. Areas such as Napa and Sonoma in California are known for their exceptional quality and world class white wines to rival the old countries are regularly produced in these areas.

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Should we really be chilling Red Wines?

For many years we were told that red wine was a room temperature only beverage, no questions. However, in recent times when summer arrives the idea of chilling red wine has become much more popular. Chilled whites and warmer reds has always been the standard but when the sun’s out and your favourite tipple is a refreshing red, why not cool it down?

Chilling red wines isn’t quite as straightforward as it is with whites. Warmer weather makes warmer wine less appealing and chilling a red wine can also bring out its acidity and heighten the fruitiness of its flavour. A chilled red wine should be cool not ice-cold. The chilling process shouldn’t result in a cold to touch red because this is probably too cold and won’t taste right. Experts recommend serving wine at around 12-15 degrees Celsius but if you’re not sure of the temperature, most say removing your red wine from the fridge 10-15 minutes before serving should be good.

What Red Wines can you Enjoy Chilled?

If you’re looking to buy wine online and want to know which reds are best to be enjoyed chilled. The lighter the red, the better it will be at a lower temperature. You should be looking for the lighter bodied, low tannin level reds. Fruity flavours work particularly well but you may find something interesting and unusual about a herby or earthy wine at a cooler temperature too. Two of the most commonly chilled reds are Pinot Noir and Gamay, but you can try others such as Zweigelt or certain Cabernet Franc too.

Essentially you can experiment with your favourite reds and find which ones are best. There is no harm done if you chill a red wine and don’t enjoy it at that temperature, as you can simply let it return to room temperature and enjoy it as normal instead.

Red wines may not naturally seem like something you can enjoy chilled but try it and you may be pleasantly surprised.