The rise of plant-based diets around the world has made it easier for vegans and vegetarians everywhere to enjoy their lifestyle with more zest. We now have more plant-based dishes in restaurants as well as vegan and vegetarian restaurants that are exclusive to the lifestyle, and as such, we can expand our culinary experiences by learning how to pair amazing wines and other alcoholic beverages with our favorite dishes!
However, it takes time to refine your palate, and if you could use some guidance in the process, look no further. This is especially important if you’re making your own dinner and you’d like to impress your guests with a selection of appropriate drinks that are made in the spirit of your lifestyle.
This is a brief, but effective guide to help you make the right choices. Let’s dive right in and help you discern which drinks to serve and enjoy for different vegetarian and vegan dishes that belong on your new menu!
Match your canapes and cocktails
Creating an entire selection of delightful and palate-teasing appetizers and canapes for vegetarians is simple enough. After all, cheese is still a valid option, mushrooms and veggies make for excellent combos, and you cannot go wrong with bite-sized balls packed with different flavors and spices. But what about pre-meal cocktails to go with your vegetarian ensemble?
Well, the safest bet for most occasions is to add some contrast in your pairings by matching bold dishes with lighter cocktails and vice versa. For instance, a cucumber gin martini makes for a great addition to your spice-packed canapes, while a seafood-based dish can go wonderfully with an aromatic, fruity cocktail.
Rich dishes for luscious whiskey
Although experts like to enjoy their glass of whiskey on its own due to its intense aroma, and foodies will exclaim that it can only ever be paired with that medium-rare steak – you, as a vegetarian, can unveil a whole universe of flavorful dishes that pair well with this drink. Once you’ve found your favorite bottle from an expert whiskey distillery in your area, you can save it for that very special occasion or the next holiday celebration with your whole family.
Bring it out when you’re serving a vegetarian chocolate souffle or a pumpkin pie for that Thanksgiving dinner. Mushrooms as well as artisan cheeses go brilliantly well with whiskey, too, so keep your options open even for appetizers.
Pairing wines with your meals
It’s enough to keep things simple, and you cannot go wrong. For instance, lightweight wines can easily complement an equally “breezy” dish such as a salad, while bolder reds are amazing with rich enchiladas and tomato-based pasta. However, you’ll find that personal preferences vary, so it’s good to keep things diverse for your guests when you’re hosting an event at home. Finally, a light rosé that can match your dessert’s sweetness is a great choice to surprise your guests.
Bring out your craft beer
Craft beer is so versatile that you can practically pair it with any dish on your menu, as long as you can find the right flavors. This is a fun twist to your standard and traditional food-wine pairings, and perhaps a more casual option for those friendly gatherings at home or at a new, hip restaurant that serves your favorite vegetarian pizza.
What’s amazing about craft beer is that there aren’t any strict rules, so you can discover your own preferences over time. And no judgmental waiter to scoff when you order a lager with your falafel instead of a Saison.
Brandy and your favorite dessert
As smooth and silky in flavor as your vegan brownies can be, they can be even better when you pair them with the right kind of sips. Enter: your favorite glass of brandy. You’d be surprised just how easily you can transform a brief dessert moment into an entire experience thanks to such a lush, aroma-packed drink.
As versed liquor aficionados know, brandy can often contain traces of dried, rich fruit flavor when it ages properly. This is precisely why it goes oh so delightfully well with the bittersweet lushness of your brownies. The best you can do? Savor the pair.
Keep your mind and your options open, and you’ll have so much fun discovering the multitude of flavors that can arise from your boozy get-togethers and your delicious home-cooked recipes. Then again, keeping these principles in mind means that you can also elevate your dining experience wherever you go, and surprise yourself every time you order another vegetarian meal for a more interesting gastronomical adventure!