SavorPairs WithPairs Well With: Winter Veggies 

Pairs Well With: Winter Veggies 

Winter is in full swing and menus naturally have shifted from the lightness of summer salads to heartier vegetable dishes rich with the end of the season’s harvest. Root vegetables, pumpkins, squashes, and more—these winter staples not only warm our bodies but also pair wonderfully with so many delicious wines. Enhancing their natural flavors with the right bottle of wine can turn a simple vegetable dish into a culinary experience. 

Let’s explore a guide to pairing some quintessential winter veggies with wines that will enhance every bite.

Sweet Potatoes and Merlot

Bold and heartwarming, sweet potatoes shine in the winter months with their rich texture and natural sweetness. A full-bodied Merlot, with its plush and velvety tannins, complements the creamy consistency while cherries, berries, and a hint of sweet spices in the wine resonate beautifully with the earthy sweetness of sweet potatoes. Whether mashed, roasted, or in a pie, the pairing is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Butternut Squash and Chardonnay

Butternut Squash is buttery and smooth in texture and finds a wonderful companion in an oaked Chardonnay. The buttery notes of this full-bodied white, along with the hints of vanilla and toasty oak, mirror the creamy richness of the squash dishes, while a bright acidity refreshes the palate, making each bite as delightful as the first.

Parsnips and Viognier

Parsnips, with their earthy taste and slight sweetness, find their match in the aromatic Viognier. The hints of stone fruits, blossoms, and a creamy mouthfeel of Viognier enliven the parsnips’ subtle flavors without overwhelming them. Whether the parsnips are pureed, roasted, or incorporated into hearty stews, this pairing elevates the humble root to an exquisite level.

Beets and Zinfandel

The deep, earthy tones of beets require a wine that can match their intensity and sweetness. Zinfandel, with its robust body and a profile that often includes ripe berries, jammy fruits, and a hint of spice, pairs beautifully with both roasted and pickled beets, making each mouthful a dance of bold and harmonious flavors.

Kale and Gruner Veltliner

Kale’s robust, slightly bitter greens need a wine that complements their earthiness while bringing some zest to the table. A Gruner Veltliner, with its lively acidity and peppery notes, is the perfect match. It cuts nicely through the richness of dishes like kale Caesar salad or sautéed greens, offering a refreshing counterpoint.

Brussels Sprouts and Sauvignon Blanc

The iconic winter vegetable, Brussels sprouts, when roasted to perfection with their crisp, caramelized edges, are a delight to pair with a zesty Sauvignon Blanc. The wine’s pronounced acidity and green notes like grass, herbs, and citrus cut through the slight bitterness of the sprouts, creating a harmony of flavors in your mouth.

Cabbage and Gewürztraminer

Cabbage, often featured in winter slaws or fermented into sauerkraut, requires a wine with spunk and aromatic presence. Gewürztraminer, known for its lychee and rose petal notes coupled with a spicy finish, provides a beautiful counterbalance to the tanginess of cabbage dishes, bringing warmth and complexity to the dining experience.

Carrots and Pinot Noir

The natural sweetness and versatility of carrots are best complemented with a wine that is equally versatile. Pinot Noir, with its high acidity and bright red fruit notes, suits a variety of carrot preparations. From honey-roasted carrots to a rich carrot soup, the elegance and subtlety of Pinot Noir helps to highlight carrots’ subtle sweetness.

Broccoli and Sauvignon Blanc

The vibrant and slightly bitter notes of broccoli find harmony with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. We recommend the Massican 2022 Sauvignon Blanc. This white wine’s zesty acidity and citrusy undertones complement the freshness of broccoli, making it a delightful pairing for steamed or roasted broccoli dishes. The bright flavors create a balance that enhances the overall dining experience.

Acorn Squash and Malbec

My favorite of all the winter veggies, acorn squash, is hearty and robust nature of acorn squash finds a perfect companion in the bold flavors of Malbec. This red wine’s dark fruit notes, along with hints of chocolate and spice, create a harmonious balance with the sweet and earthy taste of roasted or grilled winter squash. Whether it’s acorn, butternut, or delicata, let the deep flavors unfold in every sip.

Radish and Chenin Blanc

Radishes, with their slightly peppery and bitter undertones, find an excellent match in the crisp and versatile Chenin Blanc. The wine’s acidity, along with its notes of green apple, pear, and honey, complements the earthy flavors of turnips. Whether roasted, mashed, or added to hearty winter soups, this pairing offers a delightful contrast that tingles the taste buds.

These additional pairings of winter veggies and wines expand the possibilities for your seasonal culinary adventures. Enjoy creating these matches at your next meal, and toast to the comforting flavors of winter. Also, make sure to check out our pumpkin pairing article for more winter recipes. Cheers!

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