Which wines go best with favorite soups and stews?
Credit: Photo: Randy Mayor
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.
This 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.
A 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
The 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.
No 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.