Which wines go best with favorite soups and stews?Most of us think hearty wines complement thick, meaty soups and stews, and sometimes that's just the right call. But the ingredients in the pot really determine the perfect pairing. Earthy flavors, like spices, herbs, and tangy tomatoes, call for wines with good acidity. But sweeter veggies, such as onions, carrots, and squash, want wines with more rounded, lush, fruity flavors.
Clam ChowderThis luxurious soup, with its briny taste of the sea, calls for the citrusy zest of a riesling. The lemon and lime accents cut through the silky, rich broth and starchy potato goodness in the chowder. Top off my glass, please.
2007 Hogue Riesling (Washington State, $9) Fresh white peaches with apricot and floral notes
2007 Pierre Sparr Riesling (France, $13) Lime green refreshment with grapefruit and green melon aromas (pictured)
SPLURGE: 2007 Studert-Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese (Germany, $22) Packs a flavor punch of lemongrass and green apples without being heavy
Chicken SoupA soul-warming soup begs for a wine that's also weighty enough to blanket us from winter. Buttery chardonnay works with the chicken and vegetables, and vanilla spice from the oak complements fresh herbs.
2007 McWilliam's Chardonnay (Australia, $8) Full-bodied and layered with notes of ripe peach, butterscotch, and melon
2006 Beringer Vineyards Napa Valley Chardonnay (California, $13) A lovely weave of guava, nectarine, and lemon aromas (pictured)
SPLURGE: 2007 Casa Lapostolle Casablanca Valley Cuvée Alexandre Chardonnay (Chile, $20) Apples and tropical melon
ChiliThe heartiness and deep, dark warmth of beef demand a full-bodied red that can muscle up beside it. Peppery, blackberry-rich shiraz also can handle the heat from peppers, chili powder, or Tabasco sauce.
2007 Nederburg Shiraz (South Africa, $9) Smoky, oaky, and loaded with black fruit. It's also full-bodied and very drinkable.
2006 Wakefield Shiraz (Australia, $14) Brimming with fleshy dark berries and plums
SPLURGE: 2002 Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz (Australia, $40) A delicious, mouthwatering number with smoky black-fruit aromas (pictured)
Beef BourguignonneNo surprise: Pinot noir is the classic match for the tender beef in this French stew that's braised slowly in the same wine. Its earthy essence soaks into the savory meat; both melt gorgeously together in your mouth.
2008 Viña Cono Sur Pinot Noir (Chile, $8) This supple, medium-bodied pinot with tart cherries and spice is a fantastic value.
2007 Babich Pinot Noir (New Zealand, $14) Black cherries and dark spices, smoke, and cloves (pictured)
SPLURGE: 2006 Nicolas Potel Bourgogne Maison Dieu Pinot Noir (France, $25) Vivacious aromas of cherry and strawberry
Pairing Wine with Soups and Stews
Depending on broth, ingredients, and spices, soups can vary just as much as wine. Find the best matches for these 4 common soups.