Healthy But Not Boring Meatless Pairings | Wine Enthusiast
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Healthy But Not Boring Meatless Pairings

“It’s important to set a good, clean tone for the New Year with fresh, wholesome foods,” says Kate Jacoby, co-owner, chef and sommelier at Vedge, a vegan restaurant in Philadelphia and a Wine Enthusiast 100 Best Wine Restaurant of 2016.

“But don’t go too far,” Jacoby says. “If you do a 180° off of the decadent holidays, you’ll hate every second of it. That’s why it’s important to balance your good food choices with some delicious wine pairings.”

To kick off 2017 on a health(ier) note, Wine Enthusiast asked the restauranteur for her most flavorful wine and food matches. We then ran the dishes by Dr. Amy Burkhart, a Napa-based physician and registered dietitian, to get the details on the nutritional benefits.

Kate Jacoby (left) and Amy Burkhart (right)
Kate Jacoby (left) and Amy Burkhart (right, photo by Vicens Forns Photography)


Fancy radishes with smoked tamari, yuzu, avocado, pickled tofu and shishito peppers


Marenas 2015 Viñedo y Bodega Montepilas, a Spanish white wine

Fancy radishes with smoked tamari, yuzu, avocado, pickled tofu and shishito peppers at Vedge
Fancy radishes with smoked tamari, yuzu, avocado, pickled tofu and shishito peppers at Vedge

Jacoby: “This dish focuses on different [varieties] of radishes and all the diverse colors and textures we can achieve by roasting, grilling and pickling them. Marenas’ 2015 Viñedo y Bodega Montepilas from Andalucía is slightly oxidized and has a little tannic structure from extended skin contact, so it plays nicely against the earthiness of the radishes.”

Burkhart: “Both radishes and yuzu are full of vitamin C, which benefits the immune system. Coupled with the phytochemicals found in the avocado and shishito peppers, this dish is a win-win for your immune health.”


 Stuffed avocado with romesco, pickled cauliflower and black salt


 Viñátigo 2015 Listán Blanco, a white wine from the Canary Islands

Jacoby: “This dish is all about creamy avocado as the perfect canvas for fun flavors and textures. Stick with something light and lean to cut the avocado’s richness, like Viñátigo’s 2015 Listán Blanco from Tenerife. It works beautifully with the richness of the avocado and the almonds in the romesco, and it’s got a great mineral backbone that goes perfectly with a dusting of volcanic black salt.”

Burkhart: “Avocados contain a compound that prevents the absorption of cholesterol and aids in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family shown to have cancer-fighting properties.”


Squash moqueca with chilies and pickled rice


Domaine des Terres Dorées FRV 100, a sparkling Gamay from Beaujolais

Jacoby: “Good moqueca is a fantastic comfort food in Brazil, and it begs for a fun, gluggable wine to go along for the ride. My favorite squashes include kabocha and acorn, which both walk a tight line between sweet, earthy and almost waxy cheesiness when roasted. With sweeter squashes, I would opt for the Domaine des Terres Dorées FRV 100 by Jean Paul Brun. Its lively bubbles are just the right touch to make the dish really memorable.”

Burkhart: “Squash is a fantastic source of magnesium, which is often deficient in the American diet. Magnesium may benefit those who suffer from conditions including migraine headaches and anxiety.”


Wood-roasted carrot with pumpernickel, sauerkraut, carrot mustard and carrot kimchi


Cascina ’Tavijn 2015 Grignolino d’Asti, a red wine from Piedmont

Jacoby: “We’re known for cooking our veggies ‘head to tail,’ and this dish is a great example. Roasted, wood-grilled and seared on a flat-top, we get some deep, smoky flavor and rich texture into the carrots before fusing a classic Reuben sandwich with some cool Korean flavors. While the dish begs for a little spice, I hesitate to go too heavy. A younger Piedmont red would be amazing with this dish, like Cascina ’Tavijn’s 2015 Grignolino d’Asti. It’s cool and serious with good tannic structure.”

Burkhart: “Carrots are high in vitamin A, a nutrient beneficial to maintaining eye health. The fermentation of foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi starts the digestive process for you, making nutrients in the food more available to your body. Fermentation may also help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your intestine, which is vital to your overall well being.”


Country-fried kohlrabi with horseradish kohlrabi whip and cauliflower slaw


Zum Martin Sepp 2014 Zweigelt

Jacoby: “While ‘country fried’ might not make you think light and healthy, this delicate take on a schnitzel-style dish is surprisingly refined. I would stick with a thirst-quenching, juicy red like the Zum Martin Sepp’s 2014 Zweigelt out of Austria’s fertile Weinviertel.”

Burkhart: “In addition to the anti-cancer benefits of being a cruciferous vegetable, kohlrabi also contains B vitamins, which are vital to sustaining steady energy levels throughout the day.”

Dr. Burkhart’s Wine Picks

Abraxas from Robert Sinskey Vineyards: “It’s a unique white wine from an entirely biodynamic and organic vineyard, and leaves little to no carbon footprint.”
ZD Cabernet from Napa: “Delicious, organic and full of resveratrol, an antioxidant that lowers the risk of cancer and heart disease.”
Kale Wines Rosé from Sonoma County:  “A little-known wine that is dry, light and a perfect companion to a dish full of healthy vegetables.”