A crisp white with fish, complex red with steak, inexpensive ros茅 with鈥 everything 鈥 we know the fundamentals when it comes to wine pairings, but once you take us beyond the basics, we鈥檙e a bit lost. And since we鈥檝e now got throwing our first dinner party down, we feel ready to up our wine-pairing game so that we can host a veg-friendly affair with confidence. Thankfully, sommelier Andrea Morris was up to the task to help us out. As one of the youngest women to ever pass the Court of Master Sommeliers advanced exam and the current beverage director at NIX, a new vegetarian spot in NYC, we knew she鈥檇 be the perfect person to fill us in on what wines to pair with our next vegetarian meal.

Three Female Friends Enjoying Meal Outdoors At Home

3 Tips

1. Lean toward high-acid wines. To make pairing super simple, Andrea suggests always defaulting to a high-acid wine when you鈥檙e looking to drink it with veggies, since most veggies are naturally high in acid themselves. Remember: Pair body with body! High-acid doesn鈥檛 have to mean a crisp white; in fact, Andrea says 鈥渢hose can be white or red depending on if your vegetables are lighter, like in Caprese salad, or heavier, like in mushroom risotto.鈥 For whites, try a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or a German Riesling. For reds, Barbera or Pinot Noir are good high-acidity go-tos.

2. Think of wine as a condiment. If you鈥檙e looking to get a bit more specific with your pairing, Andrea suggests thinking about it like this: 鈥淎 high-acid white wine is like a fresh squeeze of lemon, while a rich spicy red is like Dijon mustard. Think about what flavor or sensation you鈥檇 like to add and let that guide your decision,鈥 Andrea says.

3. Have fun. With all that said, Andrea is all about just drinking what you love, no matter what you鈥檙e eating. 鈥淭here鈥檚 no right or wrong way to pair wines with food,鈥 Andrea says. If you鈥檙e at a complete loss, she suggests asking the associate at your local wine shop to 鈥渟teer you in the right direction once you give them a few parameters (white or red, light-medium-bold body, sweet or dry).鈥

Couple enjoying barbecue at outdoors

3 Recommendations

1. For hearty and rich foods: Andrea鈥檚 favorite food is mushrooms, and she loves pairing them with a wine that has a little oxidation to it. Wines with a 鈥渢ouch of oxidation鈥 can give them 鈥渁 little nuttiness, which complements the earthy quality of mushrooms.鈥 Right now she鈥檚 loving Lopez de Heredia鈥檚 Vi帽a Gravonia Rioja Blanco (Spain, $20) and Domaine de Touraize Savagnin Terres Bleues from Arbois (France, $32).

2. For light and bright meals: If a big, bright salad is your idea of a vegetarian meal (they鈥檙e a legit dinner party food on their own, promise!), then Andrea says she likes Punta Crena鈥檚 Pigato from Liguria (Italy, $28). She explains that 鈥淧igato is a synonym for Vermentino, a light-bodied white wine from Italy. This one is super savory with a touch of salinity,鈥 which will bring out all those clean flavors in your salad.

3. All-purpose wines: And for those of you who are popping by Whole Foods the day of your dinner party with no plan and need a 鈥渘o-brainer,鈥 Andrea suggests looking for Austrian wines like Gr眉ner Veltliner for their high-acid and medium-body, or Alsatian wines, as they 鈥渢end to have a slightly bitter note at the end that goes well with a variety of green vegetables.鈥 She says any dry Pinot Gris or Riesling would work well too.

What wine do you drink on your veggie nights? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know which one you鈥檙e into!

(Photos via Getty)