This week’s menu brings exotic flavors inspired by cuisines across the globe. It sets the table for simple yet compelling wine pairings which will help highlight each dish’s finer points. Here are our must-try wine recommendations with this week’s vegan menu plan, cultivated especially for you.
Day One: Garbanzo Bean Curry
We’re looking at one of those instances where you want to let the spirit of the dish guide your wine selection. The glorious flavors found in a curry are virtually screaming to be enjoyed alongside a cool glass of rosé. Look no further than a bottle of a rosé of Pinot Noir. A little more earthy and savory with just the right amount of red berries, this pink drink beats out flamboyantly fruity competitors (we’re looking at you, White Zinfandel).
Day Two: Coconut Spanish Veggies
This culinary delight marries your daily dose of veggies with tasty quinoa and Spanish flavor in the form of paprika, cumin, thyme, and garlic, wrapped in a subtle touch of coconut. Spain is your first port of call when choosing a wine pairing here. Bearing in mind that coconut kiss, you’ll want a riper, full-bodied white wine to complement this dish. Although there are a few directions you can head, our stomachs pull us towards a peachy white Rioja with a dash of citrus, vanilla, and fresh herbs.
Day Three: BBQ Cauliflower Lima Beans
Who said barbecue sauce is solely reserved from grilled meats? Our favorite summer condiment tastes equally divine when used for vegetables. Its smoky, sweet flavor is gorgeous over everything from cauliflower to asparagus, squash, and yes, even lima beans – which just so happen to be some of the stars in this heavenly, healthy dinner. Barbecue sauce smothered vegetables call for a red wine with a generous fruity profile, like a Grenache from southern France’s sunny climes. The wine’s pretty strawberry and purple flower notes elevate this meal to sublime status.
Day Four: Lentil & Kabocha Curry
Kabocha is the pumpkin’s sassier cousin. Sweeter with an unmistakable flavor, invite kabocha to the party and you’ll be in for a real gastronomic treat. Served up with carrots, broccolini, and tomatoes and finished off with a helping of lentil, this is tasty little dinner is one we look forward to for a midweek boost. An aromatic Riesling full of stone fruit and citrus pairs seamlessly with kabocha’s sweet profile and this wine’s tactile, racy acidity will reset your palate between sips.
Day Five: Teriyaki Ginger Rice
The tantalizing taste of ginger and a hint of red chili flakes to wake up your taste buds play with the subtle sweetness of teriyaki sauce to make a winning combination in Day Five’s dinner du jour. Top it off with a savory umami flavor courtesy of mushrooms and a drizzle of sesame oil and you’ve got yourself one well-rounded dish that satisfies your palate’s every need. Since this dish boasts a wealth of spices, fill your wine glass with a spice-laden Gewurztraminer. Aim for a dry Gewurztraminer, but if you’re in the mood for an off-dry style go ahead, we won’t tell.
Day Six: Loaded Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potato fries loaded with all the delectable goodness of beans, bell peppers, and zucchini impeccably seasoned with a hearty dose of cilantro, cumin, paprika, and a kick of chili. Nachos? No thanks, we’ll take this toothsome spread any day of the week. Feel free to play up to that sweet sweet potato flavor and head to the Loire Valley section of your local wine store to pick up a bottle of Chenin Blanc. If you can find a dry but ripe Chenin Blanc, you’ll be rewarded with a slightly more sumptuous wine – in a word, perfect.
Day Seven: Cranberry Almond Quinoa
Cranberries and almond-studded quinoa interspersed with florets of broccoli, slivers of carrot, onion, and crunchy yellow bell pepper? Sign us up. Go earthy with a Gamay from Beaujolais. This light-bodied red grape is also famously redolent of raspberries, roses, and wood. Oh, and did we mention cranberry? A revelatory wine pairing to say the least.
A quick note: if you’re watching your carb or calorie count, you can still enjoy an ultra-satisfying food and wine pairing. Simply opt for dry wine and skip the decadently ripe and off-dry (aka slightly sweet) styles for a cheat day.