Food & Wine Friday: Soup And Wine Pairing Guide Presented by THEGRAPE

Soup & Wine Pairings - THEGRAPE

This Week In Food & Wine: Soup & Wine Pairing Guide

Happy Food & Wine Friday Friends! As we near the end of 2015 and temperatures reach seemingly record lows, now is the time many of us begin to look forward to warmth. Whether it’s a nice bottle of wine that warms the soul after a long work week, a wood fire that roars while you watch a favorite movie, or a bowl of hot soup that relaxes the mind & spirit, there are few things we look forward to as much as the warmth of holiday season creature comforts.

Cold weather and soup are synonymous. Why? Because a delicious soup is often a healthy yet extremely satisfying meal (in a bowl), that warms you from the inside out. At THEGRAPE we enjoy a good bowl of soup as much as anyone, so we’d like to share some pairing guidelines and suggestions in our first Wine And Soup Pairing Guide.

If there’s only one takeaway from pairing wine with soup, it’s this: consider the fixings or (base) ingredients you’ll be using as this will make it easier to determine what type of wine or varietal to consider. For example, with chili your base ingredients are tomatoes, beans and some type of ground meat. Pair this meal with a wine that’s sweeter than it is bitter, less acidic, and has lighter tannins. Suggestions for a chili dinner would include red wines such as a Lambrusco, a Gamay, a Zweigelt or a Pinot Noir.


As a general rule, consider the following grape tips:

Tip #1: Pair darker, heavier soups with darker red wines.

Tip #2: Counter spicy soup or chili with lighter, fruiter wines, red or white based on your preference.

Tip #3: Try pairing white soups with white wines. For example, creamy soups pair well with Sauvignon Blanc, while chowders and Chardonnays are a good match.

Tip #4: Consider the region from where the soup originated. For example, pair Mexican style soups with Spanish wines for a delicious combination.

Tip #5: Lastly, Merlot and Pinot Noir are two of the safest bets if you’re unsure or conflicted.

While we could continue to give you wine pairing tips, we believe you know better than anyone what you’ll enjoy, so we encourage you to try new pairings and share with THEGRAPE what you learned and enjoyed. Now for our suggestions:


Here are some food and wine pairing suggestions that we think you’ll enjoy:

Soup & Wine Pairing #1

Chili pairs well with Lambrusco, Gamay, Pinot Noir or Zweigelt.

Try: Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Pruno ($16.95)

This Napa Lambrusco is dry but fruity, earthy but refreshingly bitter. Against the backdrop of a mildly spicy chili you will find your palate surprisingly pleased.

Also Try: Louis Jadot Moulin-a-Vent Ch. des Jacques Gamay 2009 ($20) OR Berger Zweigelt 2011 ($14.99)


Soup & Wine Pairing #2

Chicken Noodle Soup & Gumbo pair well with Pinot Noir.

Try: Cellar No8 Pinot Noir 2010 ($7.99)

This Washington red is a balanced, smooth, light to medium (bodied) wine with hints of sweet and dark red berries, including cherry and strawberry.

Also Try: Pennywise Pinot Noir 2010 ($11) OR Chandon Carneros Pinot Noir 2011 ($35)


Soup & Wine Pairing #3

A Cream of Chicken Soup or Seafood Bisque will balance well with a refreshing Sauvignon Blanc. The earthy and citrusy flavors will complement these dishes.

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2012 ($19)

With a beautiful bouquet of citrus and tropical fruits, this New Zealand sauvignon blanc is refreshing and comes packed with a touch of zest.

Also Try: Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2010 ($25) OR Cloud Break Sauvignon Blanc ($8)


Soup & Wine Pairing #4

French Onion Soup pairs well with French Beaujolais or White Burgundy.

Try: Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages ($11)

The light, ruby (purple) Gamay grapes carry hints of dark red fruits (cherry) and cassis. Smooth going down, this Beaujolais is best served lightly chilled.

Also Try: Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Bourgogne 2010 ($22) OR Domaine Chenevieres Chablis Les Grandes Vignes 2011 ($25)


Soup & Wine Pairing #5

Chicken Tortilla Soup will welcome a Spanish wine like a Rioja.

Try: La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Reserva Tinto 2006 ($22.99)

If you enjoy hints of cherry, coffee and vanilla you’ll love this wine. With just the right amount of acidity, the long lasting finish will leave you wanting for more.

Also Try: Vina Zaco 2010 ($15) OR Valserrano Rioja Crianza 2009 ($14.99)


Soup & Wine Pairing #6

Chowder – Bostonians and Chowder lovers of all kinds will enjoy a well oaked Chardonnay.

Try: Wild Horse Unbridled Chardonnay 2011 ($20)

This Central CA white is fruity, creamy and rich in flavor, including hints of apple, peach, lemon meringue and more. Aged for several months, this popular chardonnay has a long smooth finish.

Also Try: Bogle Chardonnay 2012 ($10.99) OR Cuvaison Estate Grown Chardonnay 2011 ($25.00)


Soup & Wine Pairing #7

Let us not forget those of you who are Corn Chowder fans! If so, you’ll want to grab the nearest bottle of Riesling and let it wow you with its perfect pairing!

Try: Sokol Blosser Evolution ($11.99)

Described as a hidden gem, this Oregon white combines Riesling, Pinot Gris and Müller-Thargau grapes to create a delicious blend that’s just the right amount of sweet & spice.

Also Try: Washington Hills Riesling 2011 ($11.99) OR Frankland Estate Netley Road Riesling 2012 ($40)


Soup & Wine Pairing #8

Lastly, if Beef Stew with Vegetables is your thing, then there are two delicious options in your future! Either a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Shiraz will make this dish a delight!

Try: Montes Twins Red Blend 2011 ($18)

From Chilean winemaker Aurelio Montes, this full bodied 50/50 blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon is velvety smooth with hints of vanilla, liqueur and black and red fruits.

Also Try: Root 1 Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (Chilean) ($10) OR Chapman Grove Dreaming Dog Margaret River Shiraz 2009 ($15)


Keep in mind, there are no set rules for pairing wines with soup; however, there are pairings that will enhance the flavors in a bowl of soup more so than others. So experiment with some of these suggestions and try your own. If you find any delicious matches, please share them with everyone at THEGRAPE. Cheers!

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