4 Must-Try Wine and Middle Eastern Cuisine Pairings.
Updated: Aug 7
Middle Eastern cuisine is exceptionally versatile, and its dishes are loaded with fresh and spicy flavors. While enjoying a bowl of creamy hummus, the only thing you need to take your experience to the next level is a glass of wine!
Here are some must-try wine and Middle Eastern cuisine pairings:
The wine you should pair with hummus depends on its flavor and what it's accompanying. Traditionally made with chickpeas, lemon, garlic, and tahini, hummus is one flavor-packed dip.
Its smooth, creamy texture pairs well with an aromatic fresh white wine, like Assyrtiko. The acidity softens the garlic in the hummus and cuts through the creaminess. Another great option would be medium-bodied dry rosé wine, it matches the hummus' creamy texture and elevates the dish altogether.
This delicious dish is exquisite on its own, but pairing it up with the perfect wine will make it an award-winning snack. Try it with fruity whites, like Grenache Blanc, or refreshing whites, like Sauvignon Blanc.
A ripe and juicy white wine will offer plenty of sweetness, enabling it to complement the flavorful falafel. The herbaceous and acidic combination in Sauvignon Blanc is also beautifully pairs with the spices, garlic, and herbs in the falafel. The acidity helps to balance the saltiness while bringing the meal to life.
3. Gyro Sandwiches
These flavorful hand-held snacks will leave you craving a wine that's as flavorful as they are. Begin with sparkling whites and dark-fruit reds, such as Malbec, and Tempranillo. The dark-fruit reds accent the herbs, like oregano and rosemary—which are baked into a spicy lamb, chicken shawarma, or kebabs—and let the fresh creamy flavors, like tzatziki, shine.
Since kebabs tend to be salty and greasy, white wines cut through the fat and balance the salt, while still providing a refreshing pairing for the onions and herbs.
4. Baba Ghanoush
Roasting eggplant results in a gorgeous caramelization that brings out the sweet and spicy flavors in Baba Ghanoush. Crisp and acidic whites pair beautifully with this delectable dish.
Try Pinot Grigio, Assyrtiko, Sauvignon Blanc, Provençal-style rosé, and fruity reds like Primitivo or Syrah for their smoky, peppery flavors. The brilliant acridity and citrus in Assyrtiko give a pleasant contrast to the velvety purée, while supplementing the flavors of garlic, pomegranate, and lemon in the mixed greens. The smokiness of Syrah highlights the flavors of the grilled eggplant, yet you'll need to ensure the liquor and tannins aren’t excessively high so as not to overwhelm the dish. If all else fails, Provençal-style rosé has both the acridity and fruitiness to make a wonderful pairing with Baba Ghanoush.
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