Soup and Wine: The Perfect Autumn Match

The arrival of autumn at our house, among other things, means a gradual transition from salads to soups.

Honestly, I’m ready. While there are dozens of imaginative ways to transform the traditional salad into a creative meal, one can eat only so much lettuce.

And even though lettuce is said to be more than 90% water, we’re ready for some different type of liquid treats.

Fortunately, there are numerous soups that pair nicely with another of our favorite liquids: wine.

Here are five and their ideal pairing partners…

1. Butternut Squash Soup.

A wine with a delicate flavor makes a wonderful pairing partner for this soup, which typically is flavored with nutmeg, cinnamon and sometimes even curry. Verdejo is an inspired choice, as is the easier-to-obtain Pinot Grigio.

2. Split Pea Soup.

This savory soup, whether you opt for the traditional version with small chunks of ham or the veggie version without, pairs beautifully with Riesling made in an off-dry style. (Bonus tip: That same style of Riesling also works well with a honey-glazed ham, just in case that’s your meat of choice for Thanksgiving.)

3. Mushroom Soup.

The earthiness of mushrooms calls for a lighter bodied red such as Pinot Noir, especially renditions from Oregon. (This goes for cream of mushroom soup as well as mushroom barley.) If you’d prefer a white wine, a creamy Chardonnay works perfectly.

4. French Onion Soup.

Chardonnay also is a go-to choice with this soup, especially when it’s topped with a chunk of melting cheese. In France, however, the more common pairing partner is Beaujolais, made from the Gamay grape.

5. Chicken Tortilla Soup.

There’s always something to be said for matching the food of a place with the wine of a place. This soup typically is mildly spicy, and that calls for a red wine from the Rioja region of Spain. If you can’t locate a Spanish Rioja, seek out a bottle of Tempranillo from just about anywhere.

Soup’s on… so get out the wine glasses!

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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