Soups, stews, chili and chowder are staples for cooler weather; however, pairing wines with your favorite soup recipes can be tricky. If you breakdown your soup ingredients and view them as you would a pasta sauce or something of similar status then your task will be less intimidating.
For example, take a good hearty bowl of chili—the most common base ingredients include tomatoes, beans and ground beef. So for a heavy tomato sauce you would be on the search for a wine with a little less acidity and lighter on the tannin content. If your chili is heavy on beans or meat, then you could also get away with a wine that has a bit more body and strength. Perhaps a Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz or a Malbec.
By taking these concepts a little further you can find the right wine match for a variety of soups, stews, chilis and chowders.
Wine Pairings to Get You Started
- Chicken Noodle Soup would pair well with a Pinot Noir or perhaps a Chenin Blanc.
- A Cream of Chicken Soup on the other hand would likely prefer a Sauvignon Blanc or Viognier.
- If you are going for Gumbo consider a Pinot Noir.
- For French Onion Soup give a French Beaujolais or Beaujolais Nouveau a go or perhaps opt for a White Burgundy.
- If you are serving a Seafood Bisque or Stew you will want to grab a Sauvignon Blanc— the earthy tones, mixed with a citrusy spike will complement a myriad of sea creatures.
- A hearty Chicken Tortilla Soup will appreciate a staple Spanish wine like a Rioja.
- A New England Clam Chowder needs a well oaked Chardonnay. Speaking of chowder, perhaps you are a Corn Chowder fan, if so grab the nearest bottle of German Riesling (dry) and let it knock your socks off!
- Finally, if Beef Stew with Vegetables is your gig, then you can't go wrong with a Cab or Shiraz for red wine lovers and if your preferences lean towards white wines, give a Gewurztraminer a go.
Keep in mind that there are no hard and fast rules for pairing wine with foods and specifically soups, stews and the like; however, there are certainly some wines that will enhance a pot of soup infinitely better than others. So experiment with some of these listings and try your own.