The right wine complements the flavors of a meal, and should neither compete nor overwhelm the main dish. Pairing a wine with a vegetarian main course, like potato and leek soup, follows the same rules as matching a wine with meat, poultry or fish courses. It is all about the flavors. Consider what kind of meal you are having, and whether pairs best with a red wine or a white wine; a light wine, or something more robust.
Consider the recipe for potato and leek soup and what flavors are prominent. Matching the right wine with food is finding complementary flavors. Rich, hearty foods call for a full-bodied wine. A juicy sirloin or rich chocolate go best with a full-flavored cabernet sauvignon. Lighter dishes call for a more delicate wine. Many potato and leek soup recipes call for heavy creams, butter and pepper, making them hearty and flavorful soups demanding a full-flavored wine to complement.
Taste the soup. Heaviness is only one part of pairing wine with food. Wine Country Network magazine says the tongue senses four major tastes: sweet, salty, bitter and sour. Sweet foods make wine taste stronger, while salty and sour foods make wines taste milder. Assess which of these flavors your soup has.
If the primary taste in the soup is the potatoes, consider a pinot noir. Potatoes have a mild and earthy taste that is best complemented by a pinot noir. This full-bodied wine is surprisingly delicate, with hints of mushroom, ripe tomato or cinnamon. Neither acidic nor tannic, this red wine is often paired with meatier fish and poultry like salmon, pheasant and duck.
If you prefer a white wine, or the soup has the green, tangy flavors of leek, consider pairing it with sauvignon blanc. This dry white wine can accompany a large variety of foods. Sauvignon blanc is distinctive with a sharp odor and high acidity that gives it a tart, tangy, zesty character. That tart flavor pairs well with the onion qualities of leeks in potato and leek soup.
For something a little different, try White Sancerre wine with potato and leek soup. Sancerre is a region of France that makes red, white and rose wines. White Sancerre shares properties of the sauvignon blanc grape and pinot noir. The white wine is fresh and fruity with vegetable flavors.
Tips & Warnings
- Consider where your herbs and spices come from, and find wines from the same country or region. If you use Italian spices, it is a good bet an Italian wine will complement that course.
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