Gemma's philosophy is that eating well is the ultimate act of self care and says that eating the right food can nurture both your body and your mind. I feel the same way about non-alcoholic wine as it's full of antioxidants, doesn't dehydrate me and allows me to sleep well - all important factors of self care.
I asked Gemma to give me some tips for pairing delicious vegan food with vegan wine.
Why is it worth considering what wine pairs best with your food?
Gemma says that if you are putting some effort into cooking a meal, or choosing a meal if you are ordering in, then it's worth taking the extra step of choosing the right wine.
"I would say that it makes your dining experience so much better when you have both a lovely wine and wonderful food that complement each other. It really is special," she says.
Having said that, Gemma adds that it's always important to pick wine that you love. "You should love both the wine and food equally as much. It can take your meal to the next level and I find it really interesting trying different wines and learning more about them," she tells me.
What are some general tips for pairing wine with vegan food?
Gemma tells me that pairing vegan food and wine is a bit of an art. The goal is to find wine that compliments the food. Ideally, says Gemma, you're looking for balance.
Keep in mind that it's important to balance the strength of the dish with the strength on the wine. For example, a big bold red might be too much for a delicate salad.
To make things easier, there are a few golden rules. "First of all, remember that when you eat spicy foods go for sweeter wines," says Gemma.
"For salty, umami dishes choose deep, robust red wines. And when you're eating fried food, sparkling wine goes really well."
And when it comes to the end of your meal, if you are opting for a dessert then Gemma recommends going for a sweeter wine. "A sweet treat always goes well with a sweeter wine," she tells me.
Vegan Wine & Food - Perfect Pairings
Gemma says that it's important to experient, in fact, she recommends keeping a food and wine journal to keep track of what work and doesn't work.
But if you're keen to find the perfect pairing, here is Gemma's cheat sheet.
Suggestion: Plus & Minus Pinot Noir
Pairs well with: Mushroom Stroganoff
Suggestion: NEWBLOOD Non Alcoholic Shiraz
Pairs well with: Veggie BBQ .Especially burgers
Suggestion: Santa Digna de-alcoholised Sauvignon Blanc
Pairs well with: A beautiful salad such as a Kale Caesar or grilled asparagus
Suggestion: NEWBLOOD Non Alcoholic Chardonnay
Pairs well with: Vegan Mac and Cheese or a vegan quiche
Suggestion: Plus & Minus Pinot Grigio
Pairs well with: A spicy curry
Suggestion: Thomson & Scott Noughty
Pairs well with: Pizza
Suggestion: Barton & Guestier Alcohol-Free French Sparkling
Pairs well with: Salt & Pepper Tofu