Delicious Vegan Wine and Food Pairings are Possible!

It’s a new year, a new decade, and a new YOU!

You are eating cleaner and healthier, but still want to enjoy a delicious glass of wine occasionally. Look for the same cleaner and healthier characteristics in your wine!

Folded Hills can help you with that!

Our award-winning Folded Hills wines are vegan, have no residual sugars, fewer than 1 gram of carbs, no commercial additives, and just a pinch of sulfur to preserve the wine. To learn more about how our wines are cleaner click here.

Many people are surprised to learn that not all wines are vegan. Many wines often go through a process called “fining”. Fining removes large proteins, tannins, and other elements in wine, that the winemaker prefers to filter out. Agents used for fining could include egg whites, gelatin, fish and milk proteins, and crustacean shell fiber. More and more wineries are using vegan agents such as pea protein or charcoal for fining. Most wines won’t say “vegan friendly” on the bottle so you must ask the winery.

Enjoying delicious vegan wines and food pairing is delightfully possible. Click on the article below which highlights some local vegan Santa Barbara wines and eateries.


Finding wines that pair well with plant-based dishes can sometimes be a challenge.

You don’t want a big, bold Cabernet to overpower a delicately flavored veggie dish. Good acidity is the key to a wine that pairs well with food. At Folded Hills we strive to achieve a brightness in our wines, which helps them pair well with a variety of dishes.

Scroll to the bottom for a few of our favorite vegan wine pairings. But first, here’s a little more info to help you pair your favorite vegan dishes.

Pairing delicious plant-based foods with wine isn’t difficult if you keep a few things in mind and choose wines accordingly.

Try to match the intensity of your wine with your dish. Those big cabs and Syrahs with heavy tannins generally need a dish high in animal fat to balance out the mouthfeel. This is why steak restaurants have wine lists that feature Cabernet and Syrah.

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If your veggie-based dish is delicately seasoned with light spices, then try a white wine. Our August White blend is so crisp and delicious with notes of tangerine, honeysuckle, and floral notes with a balanced acidity that will make your dish sing.

Are you grilling farmer’s market vegetables or preparing a savory dish like the farro and butternut squash dish below?  Then open a bottle of Folded Hills Grant Grenache or our Reserve Ballard Canyon Grenache. These lighter-bodied red wines will complement the flavors of savory and smoke.  

What about dessert? In general, pair sweet with sweet. Your wine should be sweeter than the dish itself, or the dessert will taste dull and the wine bitter. Serving a little dark chocolate for dessert? See the links to vegan dessert recipes below and open a bottle of Whole Cluster Carbonic… so delicious!

6 Tips for Pairing Wines with Vegan and Plant-Based Dishes

Not All Wine Is Vegan, And Here’s Why

Photo by Cara Robbins
Here are Folded Hills’ general wine pairing guidelines for vegans.  

The first rule of thumb is pair like with like. Heavier, more savory dishes can take a more full-bodied red or oaky white. Lighter veggie dishes want a lower alcohol, light-bodied red, or crisp white.  

Green veggies like kale, broccoli, and green beans like a sparkling, or light white wine. Try the Sparkling Lilly Rosé or the August White.

Richer foods like nut-based vegan cheese sauces, macaroni and cheese, and curries like the lighter-bodied reds and higher acid whites. Try a Grant Grenache, or a Reserve Estate White.  

Spicy foods like Mexican will need a bit of sweetness and a lower alcohol wine.  Try a Cluster or an August White.

The most difficult pairing is artichoke, asparagus, and hummus.  These are really challenging to pair, so if a true wine pairing supper is what you are after, you may want to skip these ingredients.  

I was vegan for 4 ½ years, so all of these recipes are tried and true and loved by my entire family.

We hope you will try some of these healthy dishes with our Folded Hills wines. Please be sure and let us know what you think in the comments below.


Photo by Hana Lee Sedgwick
Butternut Squash Stuffed with Farro, Kale and Caramelized Onion, with Mushrooms and Walnuts

Pair with Folded Hills August Red Wine

A delicious and nutritious vegan dish perfect to pair with your favorite vegan wine. Serves 2 as a main course with salad and bread, 4 as a side dish

Prep time: 30 minutes, cook time 1 hour


  • 2 medium sweet onions sliced thin
  • 1 cup cooked farro or other hearty grain like bulgar or quinoa
  • 10 oz mushroom, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 handful kale leaves, large chop
  • 3 T. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • about 3 T. Olive Oil for drizzling

Turn oven on to 350 degrees F.

Cut the butternut squash in half and place on a baking sheet cut size up.  Drizzle olive oil over the top and sprinkle with pepper and salt.

Bake in oven for 40 minutes until flesh is soft but not mushy.

In a saucepan heat 2 T. olive oil, add onions and mushrooms.

When they begin to brown turn the heat down to medium.

Allow the onions and mushrooms to caramelize, this could take up to 30 minutes.

When nearly done, add minced garlic and kale and stir for about 4 minutes.

When the onions are caramelized, add the vinegar to deglaze the pan, making sure to scrape and keep any brown bits stuck to the pan. Remove the pan from the heat.

Warm the leftover farro or grain in the oven or microwave.

Remove the squash from the oven. Allow to cool to the touch. Scrape out and chop up some of the flesh and add to the caramelized onion and mushroom mixture. Leave enough flesh to line the squash as you will serve the dish in the squash shell.

Toss the warmed farro or other grain with the vegetable mixture.

Fill the butternut squash shell with the mixture of grain and vegetables.

Top with chopped walnuts.

Put the filled butternut squash shells back into the oven using the original baking sheet for 10-15 minutes until walnuts are toasted. If you have allowed your filling to cool, you may need to reduce the temperature and cook for longer so the filling heats through.

Serve with a green salad, crusty loaf of bread and a glass of Folded Hills August Red wine.

Photo by Hana Lee Sedgwick
Delicious and Comforting Lentil Bolognese

Pair with Folded Hills Grant Grenache

Try this delicious bolognese sauce over spaghetti squash – an amazing alternative to pasta. This vegan bolognese is hearty enough to please even the meat lovers in your life. Serves 2 as a main course with salad and bread, 4 as a side dish

Prep time: 15-20 minutes, cook time 45 minutes


  • 1 -2 T. olive oil
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup split red lentils, rinsed
  • 1-28 oz can diced San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1 t. dried oregano, or ½ t. Fresh, chopped
  • 2 T. sun dried tomato paste
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable stock, from a cube or liquid
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sea salt and pepper
  • extra olive oil for drizzling

Peel the onion, wash (don’t peel) the carrot, core the pepper, remove the skin from the garlic. Rough chop all the vegetables and put into a food processor. Pulse until chopped small.

Heat 1-2 T. olive oil in a large sauce pan or Dutch oven, and put the vegetables into the pan.

Sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are softened. Add the cinnamon and plenty of fresh ground pepper. Sauté another minute, stirring well.

Add the oregano, lentils, canned tomatoes and vegetable stock.  

Add the sun dried tomato paste, bay leaves, red wine vinegar and a pinch of sea salt.

Stir well then cover and let simmer slowly over low heat for 35-45 minutes until the lentils are soft. Check the pot every 5-10 minutes, add ¼ cup water each time if the mixture is looking dry.

Remove the bay leaves and adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve over pasta or spaghetti squash with a salad, loaf of crusty bread and a bottle of Folded Hills Grant Grenache.

The Best Vegan Brownies

From Celebrated Vegan Cookbook Author, Chocolate Covered Katie

Click HERE for recipe.

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