11 Vegan Wine Picks + Plant Based Wine Pairings
The good folks over at LIVEKINDLY asked me for my Vegan wine picks and plant based pairings. This got me doing a deep dive into vegan wine not knowing what I might find.
I was pleasantly surprised to find vegan wine in all categories – pleasing palates of the everyone from easy going entry level wine drinkers to the most experienced star SOMMS.
For everything you want to know about Vegan Wine, plus some of these pairings check out this LIVEKINDLY story which posted last month. For more of my picks and pairings read on.
VEGAN WINE: Volver Tempranillo 2018 (SRP $16): An excellent example of an entry level wine that all kinds of wine drinkers will enjoy. I love a good well made wine under 20 bucks and if the wine is organically farmed and vegan then all the better.
PLANT BASED PAIRING: Sweet Corn Succotash
VEGAN WINE: Sensi Vegante Chianti Superiore DOCG ($16.99): What I love about this wine is it’s an excellent value vino from a high quality producer who is committed to putting family and the planet first. This value vegan vino is excellent for an entry level wine drinker or a master somm looking to expand their wine horizons.
PLANT BASED PAIRING: Spaghetti with marinara and meatless meatballs
VEGAN WINE: Dry Creek Vineyard, 2019 Heritage Vines Zinfandel, Sonoma County, (SRP $26): Zin is always in Dry Creek Valley, and Dry Creek Vineyard produces wines that are a great expression of the valley. With Kim Stare Wallace leading the ship she’s been instrumental in leading the winery on track toward being recognized Certified California Sustainable Vineyard and Winery. This easy to find, easy to drink, well made wine is perfect for a newbie, run-of-the mill, or know-it-all wine drinks alike.
PLANT BASED PAIRING: Vegan Burrito is stuffed with a black bean + quinoa
VEGAN WINE: Foursight Wines, 2019 Charles Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (SRP $27): SB for brunch anyone? What I love about a Sauvignon Blanc is that it’s pretty much everyone’s entry level wine. We all started drinking SB and then gradually moved on to trying different types of wine but then we all come back to SB. A well made Sauvignon Blanc like this one is bright and fun and can be a porch pounder or a shining star on the darkest of days.
PLANT BASED PAIRING: Avocado Toast, topped with a citrus vinaigrette
VEGAN WINE: The Vice, Orange of Semillon, “Brooklynites”, 2020 – Napa Valley ($28): This wine is excellent for the adventurous wine oh looking to take a walk on the wild side. It makes no difference if you are a novice or know it all, an Orange wine is something that get somms and influencers alike excited. Snap a pic of this next to Tumeric Indian Curry or a yellow dal soup and your insta feed will be on fire. While you get to sit back and enjoy this fun and full of life wine, and feel good knowing it was made thinking about pleasing the planet and your palate at the same time.
PLANT BASED PAIRING: Vegan Indian Curry or dal soup.
VEGAN WINE: Domaine Carneros, 2017 Brut Cuvée ($36): What don’t I like about this wine? It’s a show stopper, a crowd pleaser, an argument settler, one coupe of this classic and all will be right in the world. Combine that with their commitment to putting females and the planet first and you know why this is one of my go to sparkling wines, rain or shine.
Founded by the noble family behind Champagne Taittinger, Domaine Carneros is sustainable and small grower-producers of méthode traditionelle sparkling wines and pinots in Calfornia’s Carneros wine growing region.
PLANT BASED (and my all time favorite) PAIRING: French Fries!!!!
“Our philosophy at Domaine Carneros is to make wine that is the purest expression of our estate vineyards in Carneros, intervening in the winemaking process as minimally as possible. From sustainably-certified farming, gentle nighttime harvesting, careful pressing of the grapes, to natural fermentation and settling techniques, we have been able to produce wines that do not require any non-vegan treatment.
For us, the goal is not specifically to make a vegan wine, but it is more about the quality of the wine and how to create elegant wines that are representative of their terroir using minimal intervention.” – Remi Cohen CEO of Domaine Carneros
VEGAN WINE: 2020 INNOVATUS Viognier ($55): Produced by Napa’s only Korean female winemaker, Cecil Park, who harvested this vegan wine only two days before wildfires devastated the region. Grown in the Riverbend Vineyard in Yountville AVA soils known for producing big, bold cabernet sauvignons and buttery chardonnays, Park has coaxed the land to take on a Napa Valley Viognier from the vineyard. I first met Cecil when Cathy Huyghe invited her to a twin mom event in San Francisco several years ago. Such a treat for me to be able to taste her wines for the first time in Vegan Viognier anyone? That rolls off the tongue doesn’t it!?
PLANT BASED PAIRING: Roasted Red Pepper Risotto
VEGAN WINE: Carbonic Carignan ‘Poor Ranch Vineyard’ ($72.00 for 6 pack): You can’t go wrong with Carignan in a can, can you? Whether you are an entry level wine drinker or a somm with hundreds of bottles under your belt you can get used to this high quality canned wine.
PLANT BASED PAIRING: Roasted eggplant along with your favorite backyard BBQ.
VEGAN WINE: Merry Edwards Winery, 2019 Klopp Ranch Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (SRP $73): Merry Edwards and Pinot Noir go together like mushrooms and Pinot – a perfect pairing. With 5 decades of wine making under her belt, the matriarch established her Russian River Winery in 1977 and has continued to shine ever since. Klopp Ranch Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir showcases her collaboration with grower Ted Klopp and the 2019 spring release is an easy to drink wine for anyone who enjoys an approachable and extremely pleasurable pinot.
PLANT BASED PAIRING: Butternut Squash and Shiitake Enchiladas (taken straight from the winery’s website)
VEGAN WINE: Touriga Nacional 2016 – DOC Douro (SRP $78): Still wines from the Douro are truly something special. This wine is a spectacular example of wines from one of the most amazing wine regions in the world. A lifetime ago, I would make the claim that TG is a wine for a more experienced wine drinker. But, by now we all know the world has changed and so have our drinking habits. Anyone can and should enjoy an excellent bottle of wine from a world class producer. If you have a few extra bucks to spare then the skies the limit and why not try expanding your wine horizons.
PLANT BASED PAIRING: Teriyaki Tofu
VEGAN WINE: Di Costanzo, Farella Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Coombsville 2018 ($125): I’m going to let you in on a little secret, this is one of my favorite wines from one of my all time favorite families. Is it because I’ve known the DiCostanzo Family since before they were the Di Costanzo family? Or is it because Massimo Di Costanzo is one of the most well known yet under the radar winemakers the Napa Valley has to offer? Yes, and Yes. How often is it that everyday wine drinkers can get their hands on a wine handcrafted by the man who used to be the day to day winemaker at Screaming Eagle? Combine Massimo’s winemaking chops with the high caliber Coombsille AVA and you will walk away with a work of art. Whether you are new to wine or a star somm, this well scored, highly acclaimed wine can transform a typical Tuesday into a night to remember.
PLANT BASED PAIRING: Porcini Mushroom Tagliatelle
**SRP means Suggested Retail Price**
**Wines are listed by price not preference**