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Wine and soup = good company!

by Lisa Johnston from Wine Musing

As the cooler weather rolls in, it is only natural that we turn to comforting soups to keep us warm. These hearty soups are like a meal itself in a bowl and frankly, I could not think of anything better than a bowl of minestrone or creamy pumpkin soup to get warm.  Although, my personal favourite is my mother’s pea and ham soup recipe – salty and rich with chunks of ham and fresh ground pepper. The taste of home and hearth.
When it comes to matching wine with your soup, it all comes down to which ingredients are in the spotlight. For chicken based soups, a white with some substance is a good choice such as an arneis or a chardonnay. Any soup that needs a little squeeze of lemon, such as a potato & fennel or a Bouillabaisse, to give flight to the flavours deserves a zingy intense riesling or a Margaret River semillon sauvignon blanc.
A sangiovese or a pinot noir would be a match for a rich tomato soup, a minestrone or one with chunky sausage. The spicy and sometimes truffled nature of pinot noir also makes a great companion for mushroom soup or a traditional French onion soup.
But why stop with serving a glass of wine with your soup. If you are channelling Heston in serious entertaining mode or just after something a little bit special to impress your friends, why not make a fresh pea soup, throw in some celery & bouquet garni and give it a blitz till smooth. Add a dollop of sour cream and then comes that special twist I mentioned.
While everyone is breathing in that comforting aroma, drizzle the sour cream with a quick pour of your favourite sparkling wine. The fizz will layer a yeasty foam in the centre embellishing it with a fresh zing and flair that will certainly have the crowd talking.Champagne glass stack
Here are a few suggestions for your next soup to take it to the next level:
d’Arenberg DADD NV ($28) – An Aussie fizz that is full of character as the name suggests and is definitely a sparkler for MUMM’s as well. Ripe stonefruit with lemon citrus and biscuit depths give that mmmmmm that all fine bubbles should evoke. This one has plenty of fruit weight and length to go with food or just on its own.
 Chrismont La Zona Arneis 2012 ($22) – Arnie Pizzini is one of the Northern Victorian producers doing good things with this Italian grape.  Alive with juicy golden pear, citrus and nuts with a mineral backbone. There is plenty of freshness and fruit weight to enjoy along with a fuller body and a long solid finish. A wine made for good food and convivial company.
Pike & Joyce Chardonnay 2011 ($25) – Ripe stonefruit, soft oak and spice meld together with a pleasing intensity and richness.  There is a lovely balance to this wine that walks a fine line and not afraid to show its more savoury side ending with a hint of toast.
Paracombe Pinot Noir 2011 ($20) – Red cherry, dried mint and sage are bound together with lashings of cinnamon spice.  The palate is remarkably even-tempered and smooth.  As it opens up in the glass, the flavours swirl and end with a warm flourish.

About Lisa Johnston

Lisa has an infectious enthusiasm for all things vinous. She is a wine educator, writer and wine business consultant who has a fascination for the ever changing nature of wine and the wine experience – in the vineyard, in the bottle and in the glass. An avid wine traveller, her plan is to visit every wine region in the world. She is also renowned for unrepentantly insisting that wine is opened at playdates – for the adults only, of course! www.winemuse.com.au fb: /wine muse twitter: @thewinemuse gplus.to/LisaJohnston pinterest: Wine Muse instagram: thewinemuse

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5 comments

  1. Ooh, I am dreaming about fresh pea soup drizzled with sparkling wine. mmm…

  2. It certainly goes over with a POP! Amazing what a tablespoon of bubbles can do to a meal!

  3. I tent to lean towards the white wines most of the time but your right it is kind of hard to match wine with soup!

  4. Hi Michelle,

    I think that white wines are so very versatile and will match many soups. Reds are more tricky, but if you keep them lighter in body and flavours (i.e., avoid heavy shirazs) it can be done for the right soup.

    The biggest difficulty is actually the temperature you serve your soup and your wine at. Too hot a soup and you cannot taste the wine or enjoy it anyway. And who wants the discordance of hot then cold sensation in your mouth with a too hot soup and a chilled wine. A nice warm but not hot soup and a lightly chilled white or a room temperature (16 – 18 deg C) red works well.

    Of course, a chilled summer soup goes so well with a chilled white or rose! Mmm… think gazpacho and chilled fino sherry or a chilled berry soup with a moscato…

    Cheers!!

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