"Between soup and love, the first is better." Wine Pairing for National Soup Month

By: Stacie Hunt – Sommelier 

Contributor’s Website: Splash Pros

Often I write about what I call, Tuesday Night Wines.  These are wines that are tasty, uncomplicated, easy-drinking, good value wines. Wines such as those from southwestern France produced by Paul Mas, who produces under his own name and others: La Forge, Claude Val and Arrogant Frog.  These wines are priced between $8-$12 per bottle.

In celebration of National Soup Month (and the chilly evenings), I’ve been experimenting with pairing these wines with different soups. Soup for dinner can be very satisfying and it’s one of those dishes that inspire writers, philosophers and chefs. For example, this quote from the grand master of food writers, Auguste Escoiffier, “Soup puts the heart at ease, calms down the violence of hunger, eliminates the tension of the day, and awakens and refines the appetite.”

Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living. For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish. ~Louis P. De Gouy, “The Soup Book” (1949).

Recently, I was invited to a soup tasting from Bertolli. These new Meal Soups are frozen and as with other Bertolli products made with fresh ingredients and that are all identifiable and not chemical. There are four flavors currently offered: Chicken Minestrone, Roasted Chicken and Rotini Pasta, Tomato Florentine, and Tuscan-Style Beef and Vegetables. My favorites from the tasting were the Tomato Florentine with cheese tortellini, spinach and garlic, grilled chicken. Pair this one with a La Forge Viognier or the Paul Mas Syrah.

A close second is the Tuscan-style beef, loaded with flavorful beef and vegetables that are so fresh tasting. Both of these soups are best heated on the stove-top and ready in under ten minutes. The texture is filled chunky pieces of meat (that you can identify), tomatoes, veggies and a thick and satisfying broth.

With both of these soups, add a few grindings of black pepper, crusty, garlicky bread, a salad of arugula or bibb lettuce with a bit of olive oil, squeeze of lemon and a pinch of sea salt, and a glass of Tuesday Night Wine.

Soup is cuisine’s kindest course. It breathes reassurance; it steams consolation; after a weary day it promotes sociability, as the five o’clock cup of tea or the cocktail hour. ~Louis P. De Gouy, The Soup Book (1949).

Tip: Paul Mas wines are available online or in person at Du Vin Wine & Spirits.

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Contributor’s website: Splash Pros

Image Credits:  #1 Paul Mas Wine Bottle and Label, Courtesy Paul Mas, #2 Bowl of Soup, Courtesy www.soupson.com, #3- Bertolli Meal Soup, Courtesy www.splashpros.com
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