Cooking for Two with Wine Pairings from Renée Brewer: Week 3


Renée Saunier Brewer is a Certified Sommelier (CS) and a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW).  Renée and her husband own the boutique wine store Wine + Market in historical downtown Lexington, Kentucky. 

Week Three Wine Pairing

Because this recipe features aromatic herbs and vegetables in a broth base, we need a wine with enough complexity of flavor to match that of the dish while also being sturdy enough to pair with the meatballs.   I suggest either a white or red blend to pair with this healthy, yet hearty soup.

There are several ways to make a blended wines, but usually a winemaker will blend two or more single varietal wines together to create a final wine of enhanced color, aroma, texture and overall complexity.  

To pair with the herbal, brothy elements of this soup, I’d recommend the medium-bodied white wines of the Côtes-du-Rhône region of sunny, southern France. Multiple grapes are permitted in white blends from this area, but the most common are Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, and Grenache Blanc.  Combined, they result in wines of savory aromatics, and more importantly to the Italian Wedding Soup - rich mouthfeel and texture.  Although this grape blend originated in France, similar blends can be found in Australia and southern California.  

Prefer red wines?  Because this soup has a light broth base, be careful not to choose red wines that are too sweet or astringent.  Red blends from the Italian region of Tuscany would pair deliciously with the Italian Wedding Soup.  Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese are most commonly used to create savory, mouthwatering and full-flavored blends.  Stick with medium-bodied versions that would pair nicely with the weight of Laura’s Lean Ground Beef and pasta in the dish.  If you’d like to travel back to France, the red blends of the Côtes-du-Rhône would make for a tasty pairing, as well! 

Italian Wedding Soup
Italian Wedding Soup



Store Locator