When most of us grill up a nice juicy steak, it’s commonly accepted wisdom to pair it with a big glass of bold red wine. A nice fillet of fish? A fresh white is a standard go-to. But what about a cauliflower curry, or a lentil burger? With new data indicating that 43% of Canadians are trying to get more plant-based proteins into their diets, it’s time to get educated on how to properly pair wine with the wide range of vegetarian cuisine. Especially as the bounty of local, fresh summer produce begins hitting farmer’s markets and grocery stores across the country.
Tom Gore, a second-generation grape farmer from Sonoma County, California, is the winemaker at Tom Gore Vineyards. A lifelong grape farmer, he intimately understands wine’s nuanced flavours and how they pair exceptionally well with the wide range of plant-based foods. He’s put his expertise in both wine and farming to work, creating a set of plant-based food pairing guidelines to help plan your next vegetarian meal.
“As a general rule of practice,” says Gore, “I love to bring greens together with white wine. A fresh and zesty white will perfectly complement spring and early summer vegetables like fresh lettuce, peas and artichokes or herb-forward dishes featuring fresh chives or basil.” Gore particularly recommends matching these light vegetables with the bright citrus, lime, and tangerine aromas of a Sauvignon Blanc.
When it comes to pairing reds, Gore says to align the richness of roasted and sautéed vegetables with a bold red wine.
“Just as in meat-based dishes, richer flavours – think roasted beets or sautéed mushrooms – will pair beautifully with the tannins of a bold red wine.” Reds like Gore’s own Tom Gore Cabernet Sauvignon work especially well with root vegetables, or anything that’s been roasted or charred. “The blackberry and blackcurrent notes in the Cabernet Sauvignon will come to life on the palate when enjoyed alongside the earthy flavours of so many plant-based dishes.”
Bringing it to life on the plate…
To bring these pairing suggestions to life, Gore partnered with Toronto Chef Ivana Raca, owner and partner at Ufficio and Resto Boemo in Assembly Chef’s Hall, to develop plant-based recipes that pair with two of Tom Gore’s most popular wines: Tom Gore Cabernet Sauvignon and Tom Gore Sauvignon Blanc.
Chef Raca’s recipes provide hearty and delicious plant-based inspiration for anyone looking to incorporate this growing trend into their diet.
VEGAN BUCKWHEAT PASTA, YELLOW FOOT CHANTERELLE MUSHROOMS, TUSCAN KALE, CHARRED ASPARAGUS, CARAMELIZED PEARL ONIONS PEDALS & SMOKED VEGAN CHEESE
SERVES 4. TOTAL TIME: APPROXIMATELY 1.5 HOURS.
The Tom Gore Cabernet Sauvignon presented me with a multitude of flavour options. I started with the base of the buckwheat pasta to capitalize on the chewy tannins and richness of the Cabernet Sauvignon and then added pearl onions, charred asparagus tips and Tuscan kale to highlight the asparagus and grassy notes of the terroir of the region. Finally, the smoked vegan cheese complements the oak-toasted brown spice and dark fruit flavours of the wine. – Chef Ivana Raca
2 cups “00” flour
1 cup buckwheat flour (light)
¼ tsp Kosher salt
1 cup Tuscan or baby green kale
1 bunch, green asparagus tips
12 pearl onions, blanched and halved
1 cup chanterelle mushrooms
16 tbsp water
¼ cup grated smoked vegan cheese (Miyoko’s vegan mozzarella cheese)
2 cloves, garlic
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/6 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup Tom Gore white wine
In a stand mixer using a paddle, mix “00” flour with buckwheat flour and a pinch of salt. Mix at a low speed and slowly start pouring in water at room temperature. Add water gradually one tablespoon at a time and bind until the dough has formed – it shouldn’t be sticky or dry. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for at least an hour.
Once the dough has rested, flour your surface and the top of the dough with more wheat flour and begin rolling out the dough into a ¼ inch thickness. Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into thick strips.
In a medium pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil, adding 2 tbsp kosher salt. Cook the pasta until it surfaces to the top. Strain immediately and pour out pasta on a sheet tray to stop the cooking. Oil the pasta with vegetable oil. Set aside.
In a medium non-stick pan, add olive oil and cook the slivered garlic, chanterelle mushrooms and kale. Once the mushrooms, kale and garlic are cooked, deglaze with the wine. Season with kosher salt and fresh black pepper. Set aside.
In a small griddle at high temperature, cook the asparagus tips until they are charred black but still maintain a crunch. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Create a foil pouch, and place pearl onions inside. Braise onions in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes (to enhance the flavour of the onions you can also add another half cup of Tom Gore white wine).
Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add all the ingredients together and slowly bring up to a hot temperature. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and add lemon juice. Grate the smoked mozzarella cheese on top of the pasta. Place pearl onions on top for garnish. Serve hot.
SERVES 4. TOTAL TIME: APPROXIMATELY 1 HOUR.
I’m a big fan of pairing Sauvignon Blanc with the fresh crispness of spring and summer vegetables to complement the bright seasonal flavours. Building on the Sauvignon Blanc’s taste profile, I added lime juice, cucumber and field tomatoes that accentuate the crisp acidity and minerality that are characteristics of the North and Central coastal vineyards. I finished this seasonal soup with mint, basil and sorrel to round off the wine’s grassy notes. – Chef Ivana Raca
2 yellow peppers
2 orange peppers
2 English cucumbers
3 lbs yellow & orange field tomatoes
12 heirloom mini tomatoes
1 jalapeno pepper
1 yellow zucchini
1 stem mint
8 pcs Basil
1 tsp tabasco sauce
1 garlic clove
Edible flowers (for garnish)
4 sprigs, Sorrel (for garnish)
2 tbsp Olive oil
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp Kosher salt
¼ lime juice
8 endive spears
Place the bell peppers on a baking tray and broil, turning every 5 to 6 minutes, until the skin is blackened and blistered on all sides. Roughly 25 to 30 minutes.
Transfer peppers into a bowl, cover and let steam until the skin loosens, about 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, uncover the peppers and remove the skin. Discard the stems, seeds and ribs of the peppers. Set aside.
Sliver the garlic and shallots and cook together in 2 tsp of vegetable oil until soft. In a juicer, juice the zucchini, half the field tomatoes and cucumber. Set aside to chill in the refrigerator.
In a blender, purée the rest of the field tomatoes with the roasted pepper, garlic, onion and season with kosher salt. Mix the purée with the cold press juice and stir to combine. Season with lime juice, tabasco and fresh black pepper. Chill the soup for at least an hour.
Make small “x” marks on top of the heirloom tomatoes and plunge into boiling water for 30 seconds. Shock them in an ice bath for 5 minutes.
Remove from the water and peel the skin off the tomatoes. Thinly slice the tomatoes using a mandolin or a serrated knife. Place the thinly sliced tomatoes on top of the soup and garnish with mint, sorrel, basil, edible flowers and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with endive spears.
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