The Secret To Pairing Wine With A Mushroom Dish
17th June 2020
If you’re a vegan or vegetarian or looking to bring some variation to your weekday meals or weekend specials, mushrooms can be your best friend. And, just like meats, they can be easily paired with wine to enjoy and savour during dinner parties or relaxing meals with your family.
If you’re wondering which wine to serve with a mushroom dish, take heart in the fact that it isn’t rocket science, and that mushrooms can be very forgiving. No matter which wine you serve them with, they will still taste delightful and offer a great experience to your guests.
However, a lot will depend on the way you prepare your mushrooms and what other ingredients have gone into the dish. A general rule of thumb that works for most mushroom dishes is: Light to medium bodied wines play best with delicate varieties (like chanterelle or oyster mushrooms from Little Acre), while meatier varieties (Portobello, porcini, and shiitake, for example) team up best with bolder wines.
That said, here are some other fool-proof suggestions:
When in doubt, choose a red – The earthy tones in mushrooms make these a natural match for nearly all types of red wines. To safely pair your mushroom dish with a red wine, choose a medium-bodied red such as Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Barbera or Sangiovese.
Opt for full-bodied, barrel-fermented whites – While mushrooms are a terrific pairing for a wide variety of red wines, you could match them up with a rich, full-bodied white such as Chardonnay or Viognier.
Anything goes with morels – Morels are exceptionally versatile when it comes to pairing them with a wine. Most white and reds go well with morels, but do consider other ingredients and the richness of the dish. For example, a light risotto with morels could use an Hermitage Blanc, while a richer and more intense version of morels such as in a ragout would pair well with Brunello di Montalcino.
The trick with chanterelles – The satisfyingly meaty and chewy texture of chanterelles make them a good candidate for steak sauces. But they can be also enjoyed sliced up and sautéed in butter or grilled. When accompanied with steaks, a Pinot Noir is a great choice. But if you’re serving a lighter, butter sautéed version, you could pop a rich Viognier or Chardonnay. For grilled chanterelles, you could choose a vintage, dry rosé or a Zinfandel.
Go robust with Portabellas – Portabella mushrooms are prized for their unmistakable meaty quality, which makes them a perfect substitute for steaks. So, any robust, full-bodied wine that you’d serve with steaks, such as Cabernets, Malbec, Shiraz, or Zinfandel, can be paired with a dish starring portabellas.
Earthy reds for porcinis – The intense earthiness of the porcini mushroom calls for earthier reds such as Nebbiolo or Pinot Noir. Choose an Italian red such as Barolo or vintage rosé Champagne to go with your porcini risotto and it will certainly earn a nod from your guests!
Fruity reds compliment oyster/shitake mushrooms – These mushrooms are mostly served stir-fried, and often, in an Asian style. So, you could be looking for a wine that’s in step with Asian flavours. In that case, reach out for a fruity red like a Malbec or Shiraz.
Give these pairings a try to make your next mushroom dinner a total winner!
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