This tomato-bean soup is made with chard and Parmesan, and is served over pasta. (Bob Fila/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
Photo: BOB FILA
Photo: BOB FILA

Soup and wine can be tricky to pair, but a sommelier finds workarounds

Soup and wine have not always been the best of buds, traditionally speaking. Soup can contain multitudes in every spoonful, but to pair a liquid with another liquid, well, that’s a unique problem, as complementing or contrasting texture is removed from the wine-pairing toolbox. The key to pairing wine with soup is finding a point of interest in the individual ingredients, allowing you to choose your wine accordingly. This soup’s tomatoes, chard and Parmesan are all great pairing partners with these wines — each bottle option offers a complementary flavor that will lift and celebrate the soup’s savory harmony.

Make this: Tomato-Bean Soup with Pasta

Cook 1 cup acini di pepe pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 small onion, diced, and 2 cloves garlic, minced; cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) chicken broth; 2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained, rinsed; 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes; 1/4 cup red wine; 1 bay leaf; and salt to taste. Simmer, 20 minutes. Add 4 Swiss chard leaves, coarsely chopped; cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Serve over pasta with grated Parmesan. Makes: 6 servings

Recipe by Renee Enna

Drink this

Pairings by sommelier Aaron McManus of Oriole, as told to Michael Austin:

2013 Fattoria del Cerro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy: This sangiovese-based wine smells of sweet cherries, raspberries, dried flowers, rosemary, tomato leaf, leather and smoke. The structure is medium-bodied with a slight bitter finish that is relatively short. The tomato leaf characteristics will match nicely with the tomatoes in the soup, and the slight bitter finish on the palate will be a good complement to the bitterness of the Swiss chard.

2014 Clos du Mont Olivet Cotes du Rhone Vieilles Vignes, Rhone Valley, France: A grenache-based wine with a little syrah and carignan blended in, it smells of black cherry, plum, black pepper, green herbs, lavender and tea leaves. The wine is medium-bodied with a little tannin, which will pair nicely with the creaminess of the beans and Parmesan. Also, the herb flavors will match nicely with the Swiss chard.

2014 Couly-Dutheil La Baronnie Madeleine Chinon, Loire Valley, France: Made of 100 percent cabernet franc, this wine smells of cranberry, raspberry, violets, green pepper, tobacco, cedar, dried herb, fresh sage and gravel, with a slight gaminess. It’s medium- to full-bodied but not very tannic. A slight green flavor will match the vegetal flavors of the Swiss chard and bay leaf, and the gaminess will complement the savory notes in the chicken broth.

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