With the meat-heavy offerings at Christmas, vegetarian dishes and their accompaniments can sometimes get overlooked. Here at Ideal Wine Company, we’ve got the perfect wine pairings for vegetarian Christmas favourites. From party snacks to main meals, our guide covers what to serve and what wine to serve with it so that you can make the most of a vegetarian Christmas – and even impress vegetarian guests!
Halloumi and Prosecco
Halloumi is such a versatile and popular choice. This firm and salty cheese works well grilled and is an easy and tasty snack for parties. Due to its flavours, try pairing halloumi with a sparkling wine, such as Prosecco. Its light flavour won’t be too strong against the bold tasting cheese, rather complementing it, while providing a welcome burst of sweetness.
Vegetarian Christmas Roast and Cabernet Sauvignon
This meat-free alternative to the classic roast brings with it some new flavours to match. When pairing wine with a turkey dinner, we advise matching the wine to the meat. With a vegetarian option, focus on what the dominant element is. From nut roast to mushrooms, there’s a wine to suit your course. With mushrooms, almost any full-bodied red is ideal. At Ideal Wine Company, we recommend trying a fruity Cabernet Sauvignon. The earthy flavours of the mushroom are brought out and balanced by the fruit heavy notes of the wine. Again, the wine provides a depth to your dish and rounds out the hearty flavour. A nut roast can also work well with a Cabernet Sauvignon, especially if it contains cheese. With this, look for one that has aged a couple of years.
Caramelised Onion and Lentil Wellington and Barbera
This wellington pie is a welcome addition to any vegetarian feast and impressive to serve tableside. The caramelisation of the onions and tang of lemon add a sweetness to the dish that must be taken into account when pairing it with wine. To keep the pairing balanced, try opting for an Italian red. These wines typically have a higher level of acidity than other wine, cutting through the sweetness. A good choice would be a Barbera, as this will offset the dish perfectly.
Savoy Cabbage Timbale of Leeks, Cabbage, Cheese and Cream and Chardonnay
This vegetarian option originates from Ireland and is a delicious main course. Although the timbale contains many strong flavours, the cream is the key element that requires focus. Traditionally made with a Jerusalem artichoke cream, it has a savoury taste similar to an aged parmesan. For this, try pairing with an aged white wine. Chardonnay works well, as its light and fruity taste counteracts against the richness of the dish. If you’re looking for a more decadent alternative, opt for Champagne.
This festive season, there are many meat-free alternatives to classic festive dishes. While pairing wine with vegetarian dishes could feel intimidating, it doesn’t have to be. Remember to focus on the same concepts: fat, acidity, body, sweetness, tartness, and flavour all play a crucial role in pairing vegetarian food with wine. And don’t forget to focus on the dominant element of your dish when choosing your wine.