When looking for red wines to pair with vegan food, it is often a good idea to opt for lighter reds such as Pinot Noir, and Beaujolais. During the summer when the weather gets warmer, most of us want to favour lighter wines to pair with salads, vegetable dishes, and (if you’re so inclined) fresh seafood, and light red wines match well with a variety of vegan-friendly food. For a very affordable red wine, Aldi Beajolais Villages is vegan-friendly and pretty good for just £5.99.
Aldi Beaujolais Village Wine Review
Like Pinot Noir, Gamay grapes often have light-to-medium body, delicate red fruit flavours, and beautiful aromas. This Beaujolais from Aldi stays true to its character, offering plum, cherry, and strawberry, with a touch of fragrant herbs, some good acidity, and very soft tannins. If there are banana notes (from the carbon maceration process Beaujolais wine-makers are renowned for) my palate didn’t detect them – but the wine doesn’t lack for it. All in all, it is a nice vegan wine from Aldi, and made for a very pleasant wine pairing for dinner.
Vegan Food for Beaujolais
Despite what I said earlier about light red wines being ideal for vegan cuisine, trying to hit on a really good vegan food for the Aldi Beaujolais posed a small challenge. Beaujolais love cold ham salads, chicken or turkey leftovers, with the aged styles catering to the likes of foie gras, duck, steak tartare, and meatier fish. A good pairing for Beaujolais wines is seared tuna – which I can understand. Whilst vegan tuna steaks aren’t really possible (yet) a basic principle is that light red wines with faint tannins and earthy notes will complement rich dishes with dried fruit, (such as tagine), as well as sweet potato, spinach, strawberries and pomegranate. Similar to Pinot Noir pairings, it’s another good wine for mushrooms and lentils.
Enter one of my new favourite vegan dinner recipes: green lentils, sweet potato, pear, and pomegranate seed salad. Fresh basil and peppery rocket add a zing of vibrant colour, and ensure this isn’t an overtly sweet dish – the dressing, made from orange juice, avocado oil and paprika, also carried a gentle kick. Not only is a delicious plant-based dinner, it also pairs with Beaujolais wines even better than I anticipated.
The thing I love most about this recipe is that it is a balanced explosion; fruit and chilli, earthy legumes and fresh herbs, softened sweet potato and crunchy raw green pepper. It can be eaten on its own (as per the photo), or served on gram (chickpea) flour pancakes. I even added an avocado to the leftovers and took it for lunch for a few days – all three options are really, really delicious!
Another good wine from Aldi, and certainly not to be sniffed at for the price!