Wine Pairing: A Vegan Challenge
The number of Vegans has grown drastically these past years; and although this lifestyle is becoming more and more common, those who are committed to it are faced with many challenges of which wine is not exempt.
Here’s the first problem : the farming of conventionally grown grapes involves a great deal of pesticides and other chemicals which are very harmful to the environment and damage the ecosystem.
In addition, your wines are not necessarily vegan. Indeed, many of the substances that may be used as fining agents are animal-derived. For example : casein (milk protein), chitin (fiber from crustacean shells), egg albumen (derived from egg whites), fish oil, gelatin (protein from boiling animal parts), and isinglass (gelatin from fish bladder membranes) are a few examples1.
Thankfully, there are alternatives. A growing number of vineyards are turning to organic agriculture, and more and more wineries now use animal-friendly fining agents such as clay in order to filter their wines, thus preserving the environment and minimizing their impacts on the lives of insects, small animals and even human beings.
But another common challenge for the vegans is that pairing wine with vegan dishes can be difficult. This is a well justified apprehension as a strong wine will have a tendency to overpower the lighter aromas of a vegan dish. The widespread wine pairing guidelines out there rarely offer advice for vegan dishes. « This Syrah is a perfect match for Roquefort » is an advice that is often heard, but more rarely does someone say « You have to try this Syrah with oven roasted beets !», and yet it a fine match. So although more and more vegan wines are now available, the majority of vegans continue to be intimidated by wines.
But enough talking – let’s get into practice already ! Here are some pairings you can try tonight :
- La Marouette Pinot Noir with a vegan mushroom stroganoff
- Mas de Janiny Syrah with roasted root vegetable (recipe courtesy of Dr.Weil)
Or, in case you prefer white wine :
- Pircas Negras Torrontes with a Thaï vegetable curry
- Entre-deux-Mer Château Laubarit with apspargus and roasted pine nuts.
If people have been eating vegan, it is time that they drink vegan – Check out our store, you’ll find many pairing advices!