Food & Wine Pairing with Vegan Chef Gemma Ogston

Oct 06, 2021

Gemma Ogston is a vegan chef and author of The Self Care Cookbook. I talked to her about the golden rules for pairing vegan food and non-alcoholic wine.
Vegan Chef Gemma Ogston

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. 

Vegan Food Dinner party

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." 

Vegan Salad

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.  

Non-alcoholic Pinot Noir

Suggestion: Plus & Minus Pinot Noir

Pairs well with: Mushroom Stroganoff 

Mushroom Stroganoff

Non-alcoholic Shiraz 

Suggestion: NEWBLOOD Non Alcoholic Shiraz

Pairs well with: Veggie BBQ .Especially burgers

Vegan Burgers

Non-alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc

Suggestion: Santa Digna de-alcoholised Sauvignon Blanc

Pairs well with: A beautiful salad such as a Kale Caesar or grilled asparagus


Vegan Salad

Non-alcoholic Chardonnay

Suggestion: NEWBLOOD Non Alcoholic Chardonnay

Pairs well with: Vegan Mac and Cheese or a vegan quiche


Vegan pasta

Non alcoholic Pinot Gris & Pinot Grigio

SuggestionPlus & Minus Pinot Grigio

Pairs well with: A spicy curry


Vegan Curry

Non-alcoholic Prosecco 

Suggestion: Thomson & Scott Noughty

Pairs well with: Pizza

Vegan Pizza

Non-alcoholic Champagne 

Suggestion: Barton & Guestier Alcohol-Free French Sparkling

Pairs well with: Salt & Pepper Tofu

Vegan Tofu

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