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Food & Wine Pairing - Soups

Simple rules to get started pairing food and wine...

Wine and Soup is a glorious combination...

Pairing Wine with Soups

There is so much going on in a bowl of soup: simmering ingredients seem to magically lead to layers of flavours. And no matter if it’s chunky or pureed, spicy or creamy, chock full of meat, seafood or veggies, it can be tricky to find a wine to enjoy with every spoonful. Soup’s on!

A note for vegetarians, simply substitute any meats in these soups with tofu, lentils, chickpea, tempeh or other planted-based alternatives.

The soup to fix all winter ailments and just so delicious and comforting, chicken noodle soup calls for aromatic, textured whites with delicious natural acidity like Grüner Veltliner, Gewürztraminer or Verdelho.

Thick, tasty and with just the right amount of salty goodness, pea and ham soup is super-hearty and is quite difficult to match with wine. A traditional match is a Fino Sherry or opt for a Fumé style Sauvignon Blanc (oak barrel fermented) or an off-dry Riesling

The perfect balance of bacon, chorizo, winter vegetables, tomatoes and pasta, Minestrone is best matched with a light to medium-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir that has softer tannins. For white wine lovers, try a Vermentino.

An un-oaked or subtly oaked Chardonnay or a Pinot Gris are just the drops to pair with deliciously creamy and thick, potato and leek soup.

Pumpkin soup is surely king of all winter soups! Whether you make yours extra creamy, with a touch of ginger and lemon, or top it with a sprinkling of crispy lardons, aromatic whites like Fiano, and medium-bodied Viognier and Chardonnay are good matches.

Chardonnays are well suited with milder chilli soups, whilst heartier soups with a little more oomph, will need reds such as Cabernet, Syrah, Zinfandel, Malbec, they all impress with their harmony, balance, and structure. At the same time, though, muscular ones don’t necessarily do all that well. Harmony, not power, turns out to be the most important factor.

A fish soup that focuses on tasty bites of fresh fish or seafood in a pale liquid is best flattered by a simple but not to extravagant Chardonnay, Rosé or Sparkling wine. For a powerful, dark soup, choose richer wines to match such as an elegant bottle aged Chardonnay or Riesling. For an interesting alternative try a Dry Fortified style of wine with a good tang of acidity.

For the chowder is not a subtle soup. There are as many variations of chowder as there are cooks who make them, but one thing they all should have in common is a hearty and robust flavour. We therefore suggest a voluptuous full bodied Chardonnay which pairs well with the richness. Or a medium dry style fortified will go well with the richness of this soup.

Go from a humble Soup lover to a verified connoisseur.

Considerations for Soups & Wine pairings

Here are a few simple points to consider when choosing a wine to match your next bowl of soup.

Texture: Soups can have very different textures – there are all kinds of soups from clear soups and broths, to smooth and creamy soups, and chunky soups and chowders. As well as texture, of course you need to consider the ingredients and flavours.

Weight: Pair the wine with the weight of the soup – hearty soups and chowders can handle more full-bodied, robust wines than a delicate soup.

Tomatoes: Avoid tannic red wines. Tomatoes are naturally high in acid, so go for red wines with lower acid and not too much tannin.

Creamy: Creamy soups are best paired with white wines with medium to high acidity. Also, think about the garnish and its flavours when making your choice.

Protein: For protein-based soups containing fish, meat or pulses, it’s best to apply similar considerations as when pairing wine with any protein dish. Also think about the texture, spices and other ingredients.
Inspiring Soup Recipes To Warm Your Winter

Beef & Barley – pairs well with a bold red wine like Zinfandel. The jammy notes in this full-bodied red wine contrast nicely with this savory winter warmer.

Winter Veggie – This season, leafy greens and root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and squash are in – and what better way to use them than in a wholesome homemade soup? Pair winter vegetable soup with a fruity dry Rosé, a light red wine like Pinot Noir, or a medium-bodied white wine like Chenin Blanc.

Carrot & Ginger – Creamy and slightly spicy from the fresh ginger, homemade carrot ginger soup pairs well with an aromatic white wine. Gewürztraminer – a medium-bodied white wine with hints of ginger and rose petals – is a great choice. You could also go with an off-dry Riesling.

Ccreamy Tomato Bisque – Pairing tomato soup and grilled cheese is an absolute must this season. Unlike lighter tomato soup that goes with white wine, when it comes to creamy tomato bisque, you’ll want to reach for a medium-bodied red with a decent amount of acidity like Chianti or Rioja.

Cabbage & Vegetable – sometimes referred to as “detox soup” – is a great way to reset and get into a healthy routine this winter. Pair this flavourful soup with a light-bodied white wine like Albariño or Sauvignon Blanc, or a medium-bodied Chardonnay with tropical fruit notes.

Loaded Baked Potato – or a healthier version like this roasted cauliflower soup – is packed with hearty flavours of cream, cheddar, and bacon. Pair this decadent dish with a slightly sweet white wine like Riesling or Chenin Blanc. You could also go with a fruit-forward medium-bodied red wine like Barbera or Merlot.

Lentil – A hearty lentil soup with carrots and onions pairs well with a medium-bodied red wine like Syrah or Sangiovese. For lemony lentil soup made with red lentils, fresh lemon, and ground cumin, go with an off-dry Riesling.

White Bean – A creamy white bean soup pairs well with a dry Riesling or lightly oaked Chardonnay. If you prefer a slightly spicier version made with Italian sausage, go with a light-bodied red wine  like Beaujolais or Dolcetto.

GIinger Garlic Ramen – This flavourful ginger garlic chicken ramen pairs well with a light-bodied white wine like an off-dry Riesling or a light-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir. The fruit flavours in these wines contrast nicely with the earthy notes in the soup.

Pasta e Fagioli – An Italian favourite, pasta e fagioli pairs well with a red wine like Chianti. The acidity in Chianti helps cut through the creaminess of the white beans, and notes of red cherry and dried herbs complement the savoury herbs in this soup.

Pozole – A classic Mexican soup made with pork shoulder and chilies, pozole pairs well with a medium-bodied red like Tempranillo or Dolcetto – both with ripe fruit notes and a hint of spice.

Sweet Potato – Creamy sweet potato soup with cinnamon and nutmeg pairs well with a rich white wine like Chardonnay or a fruity red wine like Merlot. The acidity of these wines helps to cut through the thickness of the soup.

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