To pair wines with a meatless dish we must look at the spices and main flavors of the recipe.
For the spring rolls we look for a wine that would pair well with the following ingredients -Fresh mint leaves, fresh cilantro, fish sauce, fresh lime juice and garlic.
So far my favorite part about doing these wine pairings is learning more about the wines. I tend to find a few and stick with them, but this exercise is getting me to branch out and learn more about the wine makers, varietals and background of each winery, which gives each wine more depth in my mind. LOUIS Dry Riesling Louis Guntrum Winery was originally established in 1648 and was taken over by Louis Konstantin Guntrum - the 11th generation of wine makers.
During World War II, the family winery and mansion was occupied by US General Patton as he was crossing the Rhein river right in front of their estate.
The winery is located in Rheinhessen, Germany where the grapes reside in a cool climate that gets approximately 1800 hours of sunshine a year and has been certified as a sustainable winery by the German Agricultural Society. The wine itself is actually called Niersteiner Oelberg Riesling Spatlese Trocken but they figured it was an easier sell as LOUIS Dry Riesling. I would agree with that.
ARESTI Estate Carmenere 2010, (
Aresti wine is a family owned business that was founded in 1951 and is run by three generations of the Aresti family - they grow over 1000 acres of vineyards. The award winning labels feature a panting called "Harvest at the Bellavista Hacienda" that depict part of the Aresti winery history. The grapes are grown in Curaco, the second largest wine producing valley in Chile. It has a Mediterranean climate with a dry season that lasts about five months. Chilean Carmenere grapes were initially thought to be merlot as the leaves are very similar; however, they are actually a later ripening variety of Bordeaux.
Fresh Spring Rolls When my husband and I were first married and built our first house I had lots of wine and cheese parties. Almost one Friday night a month I would turn on the white lights lining the patio, put Michael Bublé on the CD player turned just a hair too loud, pop open a few varieties of interesting wine from the Wine Warehouse and make an appetizer. Fresh spring rolls were one of my first ever “gourmet” appetizers - I was very proud of myself. It was a Cooking Light recipe and I followed every ingredient to the letter. They were delicious, but I’m glad that now I’m much more comfortable producing my own creations, many times even more delicious than the original.
I hadn’t made fresh spring rolls in a while and I was inspired by all the spring rolls on my friend's blog, Amanda at the Grains of Paradise . I decided create some simple ones with some creamy avocado and add the super fresh factor from cilantro and mint. I did sauces two ways, one with a fish sauce and the other with a simple mixture of sriracha and agave. I tried adding several different ingredients to the sriracha sauce but the simple two ingredient mixture was sweet and spicy perfection. I’ve been putting it on everything – salads, in soups and on sandwiches.
Category #1 - How well my dish turned out.
Category #2 – How well I like the wine.
Category #3 – Pairing notes - How well this wine pairs with the dish.
Bleck -This wine is pretty bad.
Ho Hum- I could drink it if I was at a football game and there was nothing else in the cooler.
Nice -Good table wine. I would keep this in the wine cooler if it was a good value.
Yum - This is good, I would pay a fair bit more and have it for a special occasion.
Damn that’s Good – Self explanatory.
** We will use the same terminology for how the dish turned out and how well it paired.
Category #1 - The Dish
Rating of Damn That's Good. I'm all about the bright flavors of lime, cilantro and mint and the buttery texture of the avocado. I couldn't decide which sauce was better. I love the spicy sweetness of the sriracha-agave mixture, but the fish sauce and peanuts with that hint of saltiness gave the rolls a whole new dimension of flavor. These are perfect for the start of summer.
Category #2 – The Wines
On first taste I thought melon. I liked the smooth, silky texture and, though this is a dry wine, it had that hint of sweetness from a bit of residual sugar. Once it opened up I tasted pineapple and apricot.
Carmenere - Rating of Damn that's Good
This wine has a slightly woody flavor; I thought of cedar. I enjoyed this a bit cooler out of my wine fridge - very drinkable with light body.
Category #3 – The Pairing
Rating of DTG for both. Since I tend to lean towards white wines lately I was surprised how much I liked the Carmenere with this dish. It really intensified the taste of cilantro. The Riesling added to the sweetness of the agave in the sriracha sauce and brought down the heat.
Fresh Avocado Spring Rolls and Dipping Sauces Two Ways Serves 8 Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free (**Asian Dipping Sauce is not Vegan) Printable Recipe
8 Rice wrappers Handful each, fresh cilantro and mint 3 carrots, cut into matchsticks 2 seedless cucumbers, cut into matchsticks 3 green onions, sliced thinly lengthwise 1 avocado, sliced 2 limes, quartered
Sweet Sriracha Sauce 3 Tbsp Sriracha (hot chili sauce) 1/2 Tbsp agave
Asian Dipping Sauce
1/4 chopped peanuts 1 to 11/2 Tbsp fish sauce Juice 1 lime 1 clove garlic, minced 2 Tbsp agave 1 tsp sriracha 1.4 cup water
1. Pour hot water into a large bowl - large enough to fit a rice wrapper laid flat. Soak the first rice wrapper in hot water and place on a large dish with a bit of water in the bottom (this will keep the rice wrapper from sticking and ripping). Spread out the edges of the rice wrapper if they have folded. Top with a small amount of cilantro, mint, carrots, cucumber, green onion, a slice of avocado and a squeeze of lime. Fold the edges in and then roll tightly into a tube. Slice in half. Repeat 7 more times.
2. Mix the ingredients of each sauce in two different bowls. Serve each roll with two sauce cups for a taste of each sauce.
Nutrition Facts 8 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 6.3 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 304.6 mg
Potassium 429.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 37.4 g
Dietary Fiber 4.7 g
Sugars 5.1 g
Protein 5.9 g
Vitamin A 54.4 %
Vitamin B-12 0.2 %
Vitamin B-6 8.3 %
Vitamin C 25.3 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.0 %
Calcium 4.4 %
Copper 11.2 %
Folate 12.1 %
Iron 6.9 %
Magnesium 9.8 %
Manganese 17.3 %
Niacin 7.0 %
Pantothenic Acid 6.7 %
Phosphorus 7.0 %
Riboflavin 4.4 %
Selenium 1.2 %
Thiamin 5.4 %
Zinc 4.4 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.