What is The Best Wine For Mushrooms?
As summer comes to a close most of us are scrambling to get in one last trip to the coast. We’re starting to put away the sandals and sun hats, and pulling out our boots and cardigans. I’m lamenting the last of the tomatoes and sweet corn of the season. Luckily, we get to trade those in for one of nature’s true delights: mushrooms! So, of course we need to talk about what you should be drinking with them.
Pairing wine with Chanterelles
Chanterelles, some of my favorites, have been springing up since the beginning of summer and are some of the most versatile when it comes to pairing. Not only do they lend themselves to everything from light dishes with corn and thyme, to heartier ones with pork chops and gravy but, they pair well with a variety of wines. They aren’t as earthy or meaty as some of their cousins.
Feeling a white? Try an off-dry Riesling, a Semillon heavy white Bordeaux, or a tropical fruit heavy California Chardonnay. Want to venture into reds? Pinot Noir is an obvious choice but, stay light and bright; think young or declassified Burgundy, Austria or the Northern parts of California. Gamay is another great fit here as it’s a little earthy but typically with some bright acidity to back it up.
Wine and cup mushrooms pairings
Once we venture into more earthy mushrooms things get really fun. Varieties like creminis and portobellos can be both buttery and earthy. Looking for a white? Go with something rich and weighty. A viognier, barrel aged Chardonnays or Cotes du Rhone (really anything with some Marsanne or Roussanne backing it up) work very nicely and bring out the more buttery qualities in the mushroom.
If the dish leans more meaty then you’ll want to reach for a good earthy red. Again, Pinot Noir is your friend but something with a little more grip; a hefty red Burgundy, a robust Beaujolais (think Morgon or Moulin-à-Vent), or something out of Oregon or central California will play quite well. Younger Nebbiolos are a great match as well and Langhe Rosso in particular is a great option here.
Pairing wine with other mushroom dishes
Really the key here is to think about in what kind of dish the mushrooms are being used. Something a little red meat heavy? Grab a firmer red with some depth and acid to it. Italian Sangiovese or Barbera are both great options. If the dish incorporates a lot of root vegetables and pork go for something like a Cotes du Rhone, an Oregon Pinot or Syrah with some smoke to it.
There’s a broad range of possibilities. If none of that suits you there’s always the two old standbys: rosé and bubbles. These two lend themselves well to most things. But, you’ll want a grippier rosé; something made in the saignee method, with a little more skin contact. For bubbles, something bone dry, blanc de noirs, and rosés tend to fare a bit better.
Pairing wine with mushrooms can be tricky if you just at the beginning of your journey. That’s where technologies help; try Wine picker, a wine app for Android and iOS that will help to find the wine for your mushroom dishes.
As always, listen to your own palate. Pay attention to the prominent flavours in your dish and play into them. Don’t force it. Try a few things, have some fun, and see what works for you.