Popular online wine resource and New York Times bestselling book by the same name Wine Folly recently published a guide to pairing wines with vegetarian (mostly vegan) food. The guide focuses on creating a balance of flavors—particularly fat and umami—in meat-free proteins so that they stand up to bold red wines. “Contrary to what the carnivores would have you believe,” the guide states, “vegetarian food offers equally delightful pairings and can even stand up against bolder red wines than many meat-based dishes.” According to Wine Folly, dishes made with tofu, tempeh, beans, and meat alternatives from companies such as Gardein, can be combined with ingredients such as soy sauce, dried shitaake mushrooms, fennel seed, roasted shallots, and molasses to compliment certain flavor notes in wine. “If you figure out how to create meatiness in vegetarian foods,” the guide concludes, “you can create some compelling pairings for full-bodied red wines.” Vegan fine-dining restaurants—including chef Matthew Kenney’s Plant Food + Wine—already employ these concepts to appeal to wine lovers.
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