This week, chef Taryn Wa, of Savoury Chef Foods has contributed a tasty dish for Taste of Thursday. Her roasted carrot salad is interesting when it comes to wine pairing as it contains many ingredients to consider. Usually most wine pairings, rightly or wrongly, focus on the protein in the meal – the ‘main’ whether it is meat, fowl or fish. However, vegetarian meals and even restaurants are growing in popularity, especially in Vancouver.
This dish, judging by its photo, looks to be a starter, or perhaps a nice light luncheon. I’m going to approach it as if it were the whole meal.
Some once thought that vegetarian meals were hard to pair with wines and that only white wines would do. Fortunately, with the rise in vegetarianism, chefs and sommeliers have paid a lot more attention to this area of cuisine and your choices are many indeed. This particular dish features roasted carrots. Roasting vegetables evaporates the water and concentrates their flavours. Carrots are naturally sweet and roasting accentuates this sweetness. In addition, there is citrus (lemon and oranges), earthy spice (cumin) and some cilantro to add a note of intrigue, opening up many possible wine choices.
Sparkling wine is always a good choice. I’d go with one of the many good BC bubblies or perhaps a Spanish Cava. Dry white table wine offers many possibilities – Chardonnay, lightly or unoaked, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc or Riesling. Social style, slightly off dry, whites are also a good choice – Bacchus, Gewürztraminer or Siegerrebe (you must give it a try sometime). Rosés are perfect with lighter meals. If you are a RO (red only) drinker, choose a lighter style red. My preference would be a Beaujolais, BC Gamay Noir, Pinot Noir or Pinotage.
If you are feeling a little adventurous, perhaps try a Bonarda from Argentina.. French hybrid varieties such as Baco Noir and Marachel Foch would also work. I’d suggest staying away from heavier, more tannic reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Petite Sirah.