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The Essential Vegetarian and Wine Matching Guide

Meat-free meals to match your favourite wines

Vibrant, fresh and flavour-filled vegetable-based meals are perfect to serve as autumn sets in. Take advantage of the season’s bountiful produce and create some dishes that are as satisfying as any meat dish!

Studies show that around one in ten Australians are now taking meat off their shopping lists. Whether you take part in ‘meat-free Mondays’ or are cutting down for health, animal welfare or environmental concerns, there are plenty of reasons to make veg the star. Matching wine with meat-free meals is no different to any other food and wine pairing, with basic rules such as ‘delicate flavours with delicate wines’ still applying.


INFOGRAPHIC: Pairing wine with vegetarian


Light & aromatic whites

Nicole Gow is a big fan of light and aromatic whites and when she’s doing meat-free Mondays she often whips up asparagus and mushroom stir-fry. “With its subtle Asian flavours and asparagus hero,” she explains, “go for whites like Sauvignon Blanc and blends, lighter styles of Vermentino, Riesling or Pinot G.”

Fuller & textural whites

Ever since he came across Guy Grossi’s midnight spaghetti, it’s been one of Dave Mavor’s favourite meat-free meals. When choosing a wine, he says, “This spaghetti is simple yet full of beautiful fresh flavours, so it needs a match of a fuller, textural white. I often enjoy it with Chardonnay or Verdelho, or if I’m sticking with the Italian theme, Arneis or Fiano.”

Light to medium weight & savoury reds

Adam Walls loves simple vegetarian dishes with plenty of flavour and pine mushrooms on toast with ricotta is one of his favourites. “Light to medium weight and savoury reds are the ideal match with this mushroom-based dish,” he says. “Grenache and GSM blends would be delicious, as would Nero d’Avola, Barbera, Pinot Noir or Merlot.” 

Richer & fuller bodied reds

As Trent Mannell says, “Lyndey Milan’s spiced roasted vegetable salad is proof that you don’t need meat to create a meal to match with richer, fuller bodied reds.” He recommends trying Cabernet and Cabernet blends, or Shiraz and Shiraz blends if you’re looking for traditional varieties, or on the alternative side, try Sangiovese, Tempranillo or Malbec.

Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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