Renana's Kitchen

Vegan Wine Pairing for the Holidays


 Vegan Wine Guide

I get commission for purchases made through links in this post. disclaimer


Guest post by Kerrie, owner of the blog: Plant & Vine

You shouldn’t have to choose between being a vegan and a wine lover. Until I founded Plant & Vine, I struggled to find good information about pairing rules for vegan meals. Vegan and vegetarian food seemed like an afterthought to most wine aficionados. I wanted to change that, so I founded Plant & Vine, a resource for connecting the dots between plant-based meals and wine. With the holidays coming up, it’s extra important to keep the options flowing, so I’ve created a simple overview of vegan wine options.

Before diving into the tofurkey, it’s important to know that not all wine is vegan, or even vegetarian for that matter. Today’s wine drinkers prefer their wines to be clear and and sediment-free. Young wine, on the other hand, is often hazy and contains sediment. There are two ways to solve this problem: (1) give the wine enough time for sediment to fall to the bottom or (2) filter and fine the wines so they’re clear. Fining agents use to accomplish option #2 are often animal-based (egg whites and fish swim bladder are two examples). While the fining agents are filtered out in final production,it’s impossible to remove them completely, so the wine can’t be restored to vegan or vegetarian status.

So how do you find vegan and vegetarian wines? In an ideal world, they would be clearly labeled. Some winemakers choose to label their wines but the vast majority don’t which means you have to be dedicated to the cause. To help save some time, look for “unfined” on the label, consult the wonderful vegan beverage guide the Barnivore, or talk to your local wine shop for their recommendations.

Now that we’ve got the vegan wine sourcing down, let’s talk about holiday wine pairings. Not everyone celebrates the same holidays so I’ll keep my tips high-level where they can apply for lots of different meals. The most important rule? Drink and be merry.

There are a couple of common food themes across different holidays:

  • Warm savory spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg
  • Roasted dishes prepared in the oven
  • Winter fruits and vegetables such as potato, cranberry, squash, and brussel sprouts
  • Protein
  • Sweets and desserts

Luckily, these themes give us some high-level pairing guidance:

Warm savory spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg

I love playing into the spices and matching their warm and savory flavors. Your wine can bring its own version of spice to the occasion. Try an oaked Barbera, Amarone, or a GSM (Grenache-Syrah-Mourvèdre) blend.

Winter fruits and vegetables such as potato, cranberry, squash, and brussel sprouts

You want something with a little umph here. In other words, winter and root vegetables are too dominant for a light South African Chenin Blanc or Chablis. Try a more savory red (French Northern Rhône Syrah) instead of a bold, jammy red (Australian Shiraz) to support the heaviness of the veggies. If you want to impress your guests, roll up with a fancy Châteauneuf du Pape but expect to pay a hefty price for it.

Best Vegan Wine

Protein

Whether it is turkey or tofurkey, your meal is likely to have some sort of protein. You also might be attending a party where the host is a meat eater so your usual meat suspects are headlining. Have no fear! Try a Rosé, Gamay, or Zinfandel. They’re fruity and light enough to not overpower the bird but they’ve got a little more grip and tannin than your white wines.

Sweets and desserts

Ahhhh, the good stuff. The key to pairing wine with sweets is that you want your wine to be sweeter than the dessert. Otherwise, you risk a non-bitter wine suddenly tasting sweet when stacked against a cookie or piece of cake.

If you’re looking for something really special, grab a bottle of Sauternes. Made in Bordeaux in France, this wine can burst with honey, ginger, pineapple, peach, butterscotch, and custard. It is an incredibly luscious wine with a hefty price tag but worth a special occasion.

Looking for something more budget friendly? You can’t go wrong with a mid-range Moscato or Gewurztraminer.

If you’re interested in learning more about wine pairing and vegan wines, check out my guides to wine pairing for vegan and vegetarian food and vegan wine. Cheers!

Food and Wine Pairing Basics

About Kerrie at Plant & Vine


Kerrie is a photographer, wine nerd, and lifelong learner—currently spending evenings in photography classes and studying for the Wine Spirit Education Trust Level III exam. She has never been satisfied with following a recipe word-for-word and prefers the surprises that emerge when veering from suggestion. After being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30, Kerrie began following a plant-based diet and hasn’t looked back since.

Looking for vegan recipes? click here.

Vegan Food to Pair with Wine



To Pin for later click here
Vegan Wine Pairing - Guest Post on Renana's Kitchen. Kerrie from Plant & Vine said it best, You shouldn’t have to choose between being a vegan and a wine lover. While not all wines are vegan, there are a few options out there but how do you know which wine to pair with a holiday meal? Just take a look at the roundup Kerrie created and your holiday meal, plus the wine, will scream perfection! Vegan Wine Pairing - Guest Post on Renana's Kitchen. Kerrie from Plant & Vine said it best, You shouldn’t have to choose between being a vegan and a wine lover. While not all wines are vegan, there are a few options out there but how do you know which wine to pair with a holiday meal? Just take a look at the roundup Kerrie created and your holiday meal, plus the wine, will scream perfection!  Vegan Wine Pairing - Guest Post on Renana's Kitchen. Kerrie from Plant & Vine said it best, You shouldn’t have to choose between being a vegan and a wine lover. While not all wines are vegan, there are a few options out there but how do you know which wine to pair with a holiday meal? Just take a look at the roundup Kerrie created and your holiday meal, plus the wine, will scream perfection!  Vegan Wine Pairing - Guest Post on Renana's Kitchen. Kerrie from Plant & Vine said it best, You shouldn’t have to choose between being a vegan and a wine lover. While not all wines are vegan, there are a few options out there but how do you know which wine to pair with a holiday meal? Just take a look at the roundup Kerrie created and your holiday meal, plus the wine, will scream perfection!