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Plant-Based Pizza and Wine Pairings

There are few things more comforting than stay-at-home dates involving good pizza, good wine, and good company.

While Virtuous Pie is naturally the evening’s main course, how do you decide which wine to complement your pizza of choice?

We spoke with Mark Wachtin from Storied Wine & Spirits about how to pair wine with pizza, particularly when it comes to Virtuous Pie’s unique flavours.

 

What makes Storied Wine & Spirits unique?

Although we are in the business of selling highly focused BC wines, cider, and spirits, our true joy comes from sharing our producers’ stories. There is nothing more enjoyable than introducing sommeliers, chefs, and the public to local, healthier, and more sustainably-grown products.

We also enjoy hosting and participating in food and beverage events, training hospitality professionals, and pairing our products with restaurants and catered menus. Introducing our makers in any way is always a treat!

 

What are the main categories of wine profiles?

We try to start describing wine profiles by colour, weight, and level of dryness or alcohol.

On Vancouver Island, for example, we grow grapes in a cool climate and a maritime environment consisting of shorter seasons and days than traditional farming regions. So, most of our wines are lighter in colour and weight, fresh and bright in style, with higher acidity, lower alcohol, and lower sweetness.

 

What are the basic rules when pairing wine with food?

We start by considering the weight and texture of the wine to the weight and texture of the food, then the level of alcohol, acidity, and natural sugars in the wine compared to the dish.

Sometimes, it’s a cleansing experience. Sometimes, the pairing goes wrong with a clash of flavours and textures.

Are there unique characteristics of Virtuous Pie pizzas that you would take into consideration when pairing them with wine?

If you are ever unsure about finding the right pairing for plant-based foods, you can never go wrong with a glass of local sparkling wine. The bubbles and higher acidity act as natural palate cleansers and make pretty much everything taste good!

But I could recommend wines based on the Virtuous Pie cheeses featured on each pizza.

 

Tofu Feta

Due to brining and salt, I would choose a Sparkling Rose Wine or a lighter Piquette Sparkling from Bella in Naramata!

Tofu Cheddar

Bean-based foods require a light to medium red wine or a slightly richer, rounder white wine like the 2021 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay from Anthony Buchanan, Kaleden, BC. There are hints of baked bread and ripe apple and pear that complement cheddar flavours.

I’d also consider the 2021 unoaked BC Gamay Noir from Desert Hills to go with the Tofu Cheddar — a lighter red wine variety complemented by earthy blueberry and white pepper notes, with soft tannins to meet the dough!

Cashew Mozzarella

The creamy nuttiness of cashews calls for our locally grown 2021 Estate Pinot Noir from Emandare Vineyards in North Cowichan. The darker berry flavours and light to medium body with fresh acidity will meet the creamy, nutty base of the Cashew Mozzarella!

ABOUT VIRTUOUS PIE

With locations in Vancouver, Victoria, and Portland, Virtuous Pie is an elevated fast-casual restaurant, focused on handcrafted pizza and ice cream, made 100% from plants.

We are invested in building relationships with local growers and suppliers, establishing partnerships with local craft beer brewers, kombucha and wine producers, and the purveyors of key ingredients featured on our menu. Whether you need a quick bite for lunch or are looking to linger over dinner, we want you to eat well and feel good about what you eat.

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