Much like food, I tend to experience a shift in my wine tastes dependant on the season. During the summer I relish a cool, crisp glass of white or rosé – but when it winter comes, the nights drawn in, and there’s a chill in the air, I indubitably find myself craving the warmth of a big, bold red. To me, as it does to many wine-lovers, Bordeaux will always serve as the perfect accompaniment to crackling fires and hearty winter food. And yes, you can match vegan food with full-bodied red wines!
Lucky for me I’d been gifted this bottle of vegan-friendly Bordeaux some weeks prior, and February is promising to be rather brisk. Produced by Borie Manoux, this nice affordable Bordeaux is suitable for vegans and easiest-found at Marks and Spencer.
About Solliard Bordeaux
Made up of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot, this red blend wine is made in the Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux – meaning it’s neither strictly Left Bank or Right Bank! Bordeaux is naturally divided by the Gironde river: wines made to the north of this are known as Right Bank Bordeaux, traditionally made with a higher percentage of Merlot grapes, whilst Left Bank wines (south) focus more on Cabernet Sauvignon. Marked ‘C’ on the bottle, this ranks in Marks and Spencer’s full-bodied wine selection – and it doesn’t disappoint in this regard.
Solliard Bordeaux Tasting Notes
As you’d expect from a full-bodied red wine, there’s quite an intense nose of dark cherry, with a hint of oak. In typical style the wine offers high tannins, good structure, with a medium-high finish. The focus here is spicy, smoky elegance rather than pronounced fruit; complimentary kirsch (black cherry), prune and black pepper, followed by blackcurrant and blackcurrant leaves. It may be full-bodied but it’s a smooth, supple, affordable red wine to enjoy during the winter months (or, well, all year round.)
Vegan Food Pairings for Bordeaux
Whilst the classic pairing here is red meat for full-bodied red wines, rest assured you can absolutely pair bold red wines with vegan food. Opt for roasting, braising or slow-baking vegetables to bring out richer flavours, and rely on heartier options such as butternut squash, sweet potato, carrots, pumpkins and yams, which have pronounced earthy flavours. The same goes for bean and Bordeaux pairings: weightier kidney beans or black eyed beans in a stew could work a dream.
Big red wines like meat and cheese because they interact with the fat content in an extremely palatable way, so experiment with ways to add healthy fats to vegan dishes to match with red wines. You could add quality oils for dressings, add roasted nuts (Merlot with roasted chestnuts is supposed to be a classic) or top dishes off with sunflower or pumpkins seeds.
Delicious wine and food pairing ideas that are meat-free AND packed full of nutrition, what more could you want?