Sure, tons of people swapped all their favorite foods for juice cleanses a couple weeks ago to start 2017 off on the "right" note, but if Dry January isn't your speed (#boring), there's another type of liquid dinner that'll keep you warm and cozy on all those long winter nights: soup and wine.
"The great thing about soup is that there is a type of soup for every kind of wine," says Juan Muñoz-Oca, wine-pairing expert and winemaker at Columbia Crest. "In general, refreshing white wines pair well with chowders and creamier soups because the wine cuts through the fat. For lighter soups, lighter red wines pair well because the fruitiness in the wine is a nice accompaniment to the savory factor in the broth. Rich, dark red wines tend to go well with heartier soups like beef stew or lentil soups." Juan helped pair some of the most popular hot soups out there with appropriate wines so you can get your sip on till spring.
1. Broccoli cheddar soup
"An unoaked or lightly oaked Chardonnay will go nicely with this soup, because the creaminess of the wine will match the creaminess of the soup in texture, yet the freshness and brightness of the wine will help clean your palate after the cheese bomb!" Honestly, is there anything better than wine and cheese? Yes, when you don't even have to chew.
Let's not kid ourselves: Winter was basically made for ramen noodles in delicious broth, loaded with seasonal veggies and spices that taste like the lovechild of happiness and a nap. That's exactly why Juan wants you to pair it with a dry, sweet wine like Riesling. "An off-dry Riesling is the perfect match because the sweetness of the wine offsets the spiciness and cuts through saltiness of the broth." Nobody is here to judge you if you pair an expensive Riesling with the packaged ramen stuff, either.
3. Chicken soup
"Go for a Grenache wine, because the light tannins will complement the richness of the chicken broth." Grenache also goes nicely with matzo-ball soup made with chicken broth: bite of ball, slurp of soup, sip of wine, repeat.
4. Lentil soup
Any variety of lentil soup, be it vegetarian, beef, lamb, or even chicken-based, will require a bold red. "Cabernet Sauvignon is a good choice because you need a bolder wine to stand up to the richness of this soup."
5. New England clam chowder
"A Sauvignon Blanc, as the grassiness and freshness of the wine will complement the seafood in the soup. The acid in the wine will help cut through the thickness of the chowder." While the thickness is the best part obviously, we understand the need for balance and long for a valid excuse to open a bottle of chilled white in the winter.
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