How to Pair Wine with Fall Root Vegetables
Root vegetables can range from earthy to sweet to bitter and pungent. Here are the wines for each category.
At the best of times, wine and food pairings can stress out most of us. And, when cozy fall rolls around with all its root vegetables in tow, wine pairings are a nightmare.
The notoriously difficult flavours of the pungent cruciferous family, the earthy and slightly sweet of the squash and tuberous clans, not to mention whatever cheeses, creams, and spices you add to them, can make for a head scratcher of a wine pairing.
But fear not fall food-loving winos. We’ve picked up some insights along the way during our 10 years in the wine business. The first rule is not to stress about it. The second, is to pair you wine to the strongest flavours of your dish (conveniently, we have a fun food and wine lab that teaches you how to do this). And lastly, if the above two recommendations don’t work for your particular dinner, here are some easy, grab and go wine pairings to make your root vegetables sing.
Earthy, slightly sweet root vegetables
Butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, beets of any colour are included this category.
Riesling, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc
Pinot Noir, Spanish Rioja, Chianti, Gamay
Green, slightly pungent root vegetables
Here we have the much-maligned Brussels sprouts, cabbage, turnip, kale, and broccoli family. These can have distinct flavours that challenges wine pairings, but rest assured there are a few vinous gems that make great table mates for these love 'em or leave 'em polarizing veggies.
Sauvignon Blanc, Chablis, dry Riesling, Grüner Veltliner
Cabernet Franc, Côtes du Rhône
When in doubt, wines with medium body, little-to-no oak, and crisp acidity can be a get-out-of-pairing-jail free card. At the very least, they won’t be a terrible pairing and will be able hold their own.
Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, Soave, Sauvignon Blanc
Barbera, Chianti, Gamay, Rioja crianza, Pinot Noir
brut Champage, Cava, or Crémant