Pairing Wine With Vichyssoise

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Vichyssoise, while sounding sophisticated, is a simple dish with complex flavors that is interesting to pair with. In reflecting on the main flavors of the dish, you get an acidity from the chives, tamed slightly by the sweetness of the leeks. These seemingly conflicting flavors are then complemented by the creaminess of the potatoes and heavy cream. If you serve it hot, it is potage parmentier, if you chill it and serve it cold, it becomes Vichyssoise. (Vee-she-swah is the best help we can give you on pronunciation.) It can also be referred to as potato and leek soup or magic leek soup.

The secret here is not overpowering the delicate, complex flavors of the dish, but rather enhancing those flavors by pairing a wine that gently massages the flavors out of the soup and onto your palate.

With this dish, texture is as important as flavor. You want the wine to accentuate the creaminess and density of this cold-served soup. To accomplish this, you turn to a dry, to off-dry wine, with some creaminess and medium acidity and alcohol levels.

Best Red Wine to Pair With Vichyssoise

While one would normally default to thinking a white should be paired with Vichyssoise, a red can also work here.  Just remember, we are looking for a lighter, medium body, low tannin red to pair with this delicate dish.

Therefore, with red wines, we would recommend:

  • Pinot Noir – Never a bad choice for a lighter bodied red.  Light on body, high on aromatics.
  • Gamay – From the Beaujolais region in Southern Burgundy.  More fruit forward than Pinot Noir, but light body and low tannins.
  • Red Zinfandel – With its spicy and peppery notes, it is hard to imagine it would not pair well with this leek/potato marriage.
  • Grenache/Garnacha – Notes of white pepper, which play well with the white pepper used in the dish.
  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape – This may seem like an odd and strong pairing, but with its “garrigue” it does very well with vegetable forward dishes.

Best White Wine to Pair With Vichyssoise

The composition of this dish automatically would lead one to think white wine. And you would not be incorrect.  For a white, ideally, we are looking for a medium acid, medium body, creamy wine with some spice.

With that in mind, the first wine we think of is:

  • Oaked Chardonnay – Specifically, Pouilly-Fuissé. This Southern Burgundy Chardonnay with subtle smoke and gentle spice is the perfect complement to Vichyssoise.
  • Sauvignon Blanc – if you are not a fan of the smoke and spice, but prefer more herbaceousness to elevate the leeks and potatoes, a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley would be a solid choice.  Think Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé.
  • Marlborough Riesling – For a contrasting wine, a Riesling from New Zealand would be a good option. These wines tend to be off-dry with a solid acid-sugar balance to fit this dish.
  • Verdejos – This lesser known wine from Northern Spain, with its citrus forwardness and herbaceous finish, make it a strong contender to pair with this soup.
  • Provençal Rosé – On a warm summer day, it is hard to beat a Rosé from Provençe in Southern France. These dry, medium acid, medium alcohol wines would pair very well with Vichyssoise.

Best Wines To Pair With Potato Leek Soup

Since the goal with this dish is to bring out the texture while highlighting the subtle, delicate flavors, we have to recommend the following pairings to help complement the wine rather than overpower it.

  • Chardonnay from Pouilly-Fuissé.
  • Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé.
  • Provençal Rosé.
  • Pinot Noir, preferably Old World.
  • Red Zinfandel.

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