An Expert Weighs In On The Best Wine To Pair With Veggie Burgers

Wine drinkers rejoice! When it comes to enjoying a classic American veggie burger, beer is no longer the only beverage option. Although wine pairings are nuanced, balancing flavors and richness, there is an ideal wine for this backyard favorite. To determine what best complements plant-based and veggie burgers, we sought advice from a wine expert.

Food Republic spoke with Cody Freed, Bar Manager for Infinite Monkey Theorem in Denver, Colorado, to learn what to serve with the popular meatless alternatives. According to Freed, if the burger is made with hearty ingredients like mushrooms that have a mouthfeel similar to that of "traditional beef patties," red wine is a safe option. Opt for a malbec or cabernet sauvignon, since a bold wine won't overpower a beefy-tasting dish, particularly if it's topped with melted cheese. However, don't rule out white wines.

When preparing a veggie burger on a skillet or a grill, Freed suggests "a sparkling wine or Champagne," recommending Infinite Monkey Theorem's "Bubble Universe (which is made in the traditional Champagne method)." The world of sparkling wines is extensive and doesn't need to be saved for celebrations. There are many options ranging from dry to sweet at different price points, including Italian prosecco, Spanish cava, and delicious options from the U.S., New Zealand, and Australia. In general, try to match the burger's flavor to the wine's robustness, matching their intensities.

The best wine to pair with plant-based burgers

Although they are both meatless, veggie and plant-based burgers are not the same, so not surprisingly, Cody Freed suggests a different style of wine for each option. Veggie burger recipes are versatile and can be store-bought or homemade from pantry items or veggie food scraps, like Guy Fieri's favorite veggie burger, which contains roasted vegetables, cooked grains like brown rice or quinoa, and lots of spices. This whole grain option isn't meant to taste like a traditional burger recipe, unlike plant-based burgers. Made from plant proteins, these are engineered to mimic the mouthfeel and savoriness associated with meat, so Freed has two white wine choices to consider.

When preparing a plant-based burger, Freed prefers "a white wine with a little more rounded mouth feel, like our chardonnay or viognier." Based on its age, chardonnay is often associated with an oaky bouquet. It's a dry white wine with an array of characteristics highly influenced by the region. Some vintages are full of citrus and green apple flavors, while others have a more tropical nose. Viognier is a lesser-known, sweeter option with low acidity. Generally, this aromatic wine pairs well with sweet, fragrant dishes, so if you like topping your veggie burger with chutney — like this pear, lemon, and ginger chutney — or onion jam, give viognier a try.