Vouvray is a French white wine made with Chenin Blanc grapes in the Touraine district of France. It comes in multiple styles that range from sweet to dry, as well as still to sparkling. However, Delicate floral aromas, honeyed characteristics, and a lip-puckering taste of green apple or pear are common attributes across all styles of Vouvray.
Vouvray can be broken down into sparkling, styles that are Brut (dry) or Demi-Sec (sweet). For Still wines (not fizzy), you can find Sec (dry), Tendre (off-dry or semi-sweet), Demi-Sec (Sweet) or Moelleux (Very Sweet).
Vouvray and Food Pairings
For this section, we’ll cover still Vouvray styles and food pairings, as sparkling Vouvray you’ll commonly use as an aperitif or pair sweeter styles with a dessert. Sweet Vouvray wines are fantastic with cake or cupcakes!
Sec Vouvray / Dry Vouvray
For Sec/Dry Vouvray, you’ll find faint minerality to them, as they are bracingly dry, but still has an apple or pear taste. This is an excellent pair with lobster or crab as it lifts the unique flavour of the shellfish up. You’ll find a this crisp white wine pairs well with Charcuterie as it is acidic enough to cut through the saltiness and fat of meat. It’s also a solid pairing with Crudité, Artichokes, and Asparagus.
Dry Vouvray and Kani Sushi
Kani Sushi, or Crab Sushi, is going to be incredibly diverse wherever you eat it. In some instances, for less legit Sushi-Houses, they might even serve you imitation Crab, which is made from the surimi fish. Crab can also be found in California Rolls, or Dragon Rolls (cucumber & avocado), or hundreds of other Sushi variants.
For true crab, Dry Vouvray pairs so well due to its minerality that mirrors the ocean-kissed flavours of the crab meat. Meanwhile, the crisp acidity of Dry Vouvray has no issue of cutting through the sauce or sticky rice that accompany your sushi. We also love how the green apple flavours mingle in and elevate this dish even further.
Tendre Vouvray has too much sugar to be called dry, but not enough sugar to be classified as off-dry or sweet.
Tendre Vourvray has a touch of fruitiness, but still maintain a dry quality, perhaps making it the easiest to pair. Again this is an excellent pair with lobster and other shellfish like scallops and mussels, but also fish like halibut, trout, pike, and cod. It’s also lovely with pork with fruit or fruit sauce or even a Hawaiian Pizza, Chicken Kiev, Hot Dogs with the works, turkey, and veal.
Vouvray Tendre & Hot Dogs with the Works Pairing
With its razor sharp acidity, Tendre Vouvray has no issue blending in with the vinegar components of many of the toppings you encounter with Hot Dogs, such as ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut, and pickled peppers. Meanwhile the subtle sweetness of this style of Vouvray complements the sweetness of the the variety of toppings available for your Hot Dogs. I particularly love how the sweetness works with chopped sweet onions.
The acidity of the wine is excellent at cleansing your mouth of all the proteins, goopy fats (like mayo or cheese) and carbohydrates from your cheeks, so you get those tremendous hot dog flavours up until the last bite. I also enjoy how the fragrant floral and green apple notes work their way into the bread notes of the hot dog bun.
Demi-Sec are bursting with sweet apple flavours. We enjoy it with Indian, Thai, Chinese and Ethiopian cuisine as the sweet flavours are refreshing when placed against the spiciness or heat of certain dishes. Foie Gras is another wonderful pairing for this Loire Valley white wine!
Demi Sec Vouvray and Spicy Fried Chicken Pairing
Spicy Fried Chicken is delicious, but in the past decade, we’ve certainly seen it brought to new extremes. The alcohol content in Vouvray might be a little too high to deal with blistering hot spices, but for more mild spice mixes, the sweetness is a nice flame retardant. You’ll find the sugar content puts out a bit of the heat and lets you actually taste the unique flavours that are often hidden beneath the heat.
While Demi-Sec is sweet, it’s not tooth-hurting sweet so that it won’t turn your chicken dish into a dessert. Instead, the sweet pear and apple flavours dance with the subtle chicken flavours and draw them out into the open, making for a fantastic food and wine pairing.
Moelleux Vouvray is rich and concentrated with sweet apple and pear notes, as well as candied ginger flavours. With this Viscous white wine, you’re getting into dessert territory, so pair it with Crepes, Apple desserts, Ginger desserts, Cheesecake, Strawberry Shortcake, Blueberries, Berry desserts, and custards.
Moelleux Vouvray and Vanilla Cupcake Pairing
The elegant apple and pear notes of Moelleux Vouvray are divine with vanilla cupcakes. While full of sugar, this sweet wine still has a bit of acidity to cut through the rich cupcake icing and body, so you taste both the wine and the cupcake on the finish. For an extra step of class for a bridal shower, chose a sparkling Moelleux Vouvray to pair with your cupcakes. The bubbles add a little more scrubbing action to wash away the cupcakes sugars.
The candied ginger notes in this sweet wine also make it exceptional with carrot cake cupcakes or carrot cake in general.