With fall and winter weather setting in, there’s nothing cozier than winding down with a bowl of warm soup. It provides plenty of healthy, seasonal veggies to keep you satisfied during the cold months. Soups are also perfect for entertaining a large crowd with little effort. If you want to fancy it up, pairing soup and wine is definitely the way to go! Though this pairing is thought of as being a weird match, they can actually work quite well together. It’s really just a matter of understanding the individual flavors and how they work together.
Here are a few of my favorite soups and examples of complimentary wines for each!
Classic French Conssome
This thin soup is made with chicken stock but with added egg whites to clarify and draw out the oils. It’s a light and delicious soup that goes well with a dry wine like Sherry, Pinot Grigio, or Madeira.
Creamy Vegetable Soup
Creamy soups, like cream of broccoli, are hearty without being oily. Fennel and cauliflower soups are particularly wine-friendly. They match well with white wines such as a white Burgandy or even a white Bordeaux.
Mushroom soups vary in flavor, from silky and creamy to a dark, woodsy taste. Creamy mushroom soups pair well with Chardonnays and other white wines, especially oaked. Darker soups are complemented best by Pinot Noirs and other dark red wines that are oak-aged and have subtle, earthy tones.
Spicy Thai Soup
Generally, the best pairing for any soup with chicken is lightly oaked Chardonnay. When you’re pairing a spicier version, however, opt for a sweet, dry wine like a Riesling. The sweetness and acidity cuts the spice nicely, and depending on the bottle, it can even highlight the jasmine flavors perfectly!
If you’re a bigger stew fan than traditional soup, or you like a bit of bacon or sausage in it, your best bet is a rustic red. For example, a Chianti Classico, works well with thicker meal-style soups.
Butternut Squash Soup
Ok, don’t you agree, this is the perfect taste of fall?! Creamy, hearty, and full of fall flavor, oh yea! To bring out the sweetness, try a nice dry Reisling. Or, for something richer any good Chardonnay or Gewürztraminer will do the trick.
Hearty Beef Stew
Anything beef or richer in flavor will pair with a strong, dark red. Bordeaux is a great wine choice, as are Cabernet Sauvignon blends. These will help bring out the flavors of the meat, even when it’s combined with spices and vegetables.
Any type of seafood soup or bisque will match really well with the earthiness of Sauvignon Blanc. That along with a touch of citrus will set it off for sure!
New England Clam Chowder
If you’re a chowder fan, then stock up on Chardonnay and Riesling. A well-oaked Chardonnay is a faithful companion to New England Clam Chowder while Corn Chowder works best with a dry Riesling. Enjoy!
Gumbo, anyone? (raises hand) Seriously, nothing is more satisfying than diving into a delicious bowl of gumbo. Add a glass of Pinot Noir and your night is sure to be one of the coziest of the season.
While a soup and wine pairing may come across as “simple,” (which is a beautiful thing in my book) it may be just what you need on a chilly night. Whether it’s for a group or just for you, pairing your favorite soup with wine can take it from boring to downright decadent!