Updated September 7th 2023
Which is the best wine with soup? Well, it depends on which type of soup you are having! Soup is a diverse food category with many different textures and ingredients. That is why it is not possible to say there is only one wine that pairs well with all soups. Instead, we have to look into each type of soup and match its flavors with the best wine. Here we will guide you through the best wine pairings for fish soup, tomato soup, vegetable soups and many other types of this comforting dish. Enjoy!
Red, white or rosé? Sweet or dry? Still or sparkling? It all depends on the type of soup you are going to eat. Before diving into the world of soup and wine pairings, let's look at some general rules to apply when choosing a wine to match your soup.
Tomato soup is one of the most beloved soups. There are many different types of tomato soup, but they are usually light in texture and flavors. A tomato soup usually has high acidity and a touch of fruitiness. Try to pair it with a wine with similar characteristics. A fresh white wine like Albariño/Alvarinho is a good wine pairing with tomato soup. A herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc, a fruity rosé or a chilled sherry (fino or manzanilla) will also pair well with a light tomato soup.
If the tomato soup is more rich and rustic, you can pair it with a light or medium-bodied red wine. The typical aromas of tomato and cherry in Sangiovese and Chianti Classico will match the tomato soup.
Tips! Read more about wine pairing with tomato-based dishes in our Sangiovese food pairing guide.
This popular soup from Hungary contains pieces of beef, potatoes, onions, paprika and other vegetables. Goulash is a savory and flavorful dish with a slightly high fat content. Pair it with red wine with high acidity, such as a Grenache, Côtes du Rhône or Pinot Noir.
French onion soup is simple, yet delicious. It might sound like a light soup, but the strong aromas of caramelized onion, combined with fatty, melted cheese and rich bread croutons make this soup rich and heavy, almost like a fondue. We recommend you pair it with a light- or medium-bodied red wine with high acidity. The acidity will balance the fat in the soup. Barbera, Beaujolais and Pinot Noir are all good red wine pairings with French onion soup.
If you prefer a white wine, there are also many excellent pairings. Choose a medium- or full-bodied white wine to balance the richness of the soup. A Viognier, oaked Chardonnay or Pinot Gris are great white wine pairings with French onion soup.
Tips! Avoid pairing French onion soup with light and delicate wines. The strong aromas and richness of the soup will overpower the wine.
A rich and creamy mushroom soup is best paired with an earthy red wine. Pinot Noir is almost always a good pairing for mushroom dishes. The high acidity of the wine will balance the creamy texture of the soup. If you prefer a white wine, we recommend a lightly oaked Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc.
There are countless fish soup recipes, and it is impossible to choose one wine that matches all of them. If you are having a tomato-based fish soup with mussels or other delicate seafood, make sure to pair it with a dry white wine with high acidity and citrus aromas. The wine's high acidity will balance the tomato's natural acidity, while its citrus aromas will pair beautifully with shellfish and fish. A Sémillion and Albariño/Alvarinho are great wine pairings for tomato-based fish stews and soups. A dry, fruity rosé like Provence Rosé is also great with this type of soup.
If your fish soup contains saffron and other spices it can usually stand up to more bold white wines with high acidity. A lightly oaked Chardonnay or Pinot Gris usually pair well with this type of soup. A fresh, dry rosé wine is usually also a good choice.
Bouillabaisse is a classic fish soup from Marseille in Provence, southern France. This soup usually contains different types of fish and shellfish combined with tomatoes, vegetables, garlic, saffron, Provencal herbs and many other spices. The complex flavors of the soup usually pair best with a light white wine with medium or high acidity. A herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc is a classic pairing, as well as Provence Rosé. Other dry, crisp and light white or rosé wines will also pair well.
Vegetable soup is another broad category. Green soups with spinach, kale, broccoli, asparagus or watercress usually have a touch of bitterness which needs to be taken into consideration when pairing with wine. A dry, white wine with a "green" profile is often the best wine pairing. Try a Grüner Veltliner from Austria with your bowl of green soup. This wine has distict vegetal aromas which pair well with vegetables.
If you are having a creamy vegetable soup, we recommend you pair it with a more creamy wine. A lightly oaked Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc are often good choices.
Tips! Do you want to know more about pairing wine with vegetables and vegetarian food? Check out our guide Best wine for vegetarian food.
Pumpkin soup is a lovely dish in the fall. Pumpkin and butternut squash give a touch of sweetness to the soup, which is best paired with an aromatic white wine. We recommed a dry Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Viognier or Torrontés.
Borscht and other beetroot soups are often a bit tricky to pair with wine. They are light in texture, but have a distinct earthy aroma. If served with sour cream, its acidity also needs to be considered when choosing a wine. Light-bodied, earthy red wines like Pinot Noir, Beaujolais and Gamay are usually the best wine pairings for beetroot soup.
Gazpacho is a tomato-based soup that is served cold. It is best paired with a dry, crisp light-bodied white wine with good acidity. Albariño/Alvarinho is an excellent wine pairing with gazpacho. You can also try other unoaked, dry, light white wines or a fino sherry.
Chicken soup also comes in different versions. It is often a clear broth, but can also be made creamy. Sometimes the soup contains only chicken, other times it also contains noodles or vegetables.
Light broth chicken soups can be paired with a light, white wine such as an unoaked Chardonnay. Heavier chicken soups, especially if they contain mushrooms, can be paired with light-bodied red wines like Pinot Noir or Gamay, or with white wines with a similar creamy texture such as lightly oaked Chardonnay, Viognier or Chenin Blanc.
Thai soups are usually spicy and can contain fish, chicken, shrimps or vegetables. It is not the type of protein that will determine the wine pairing, but the soup's spiciness. Thai soups, and other spicy soups, are best paired with a wine with a hint of sweetness to balance the heat in the dish. Also, if the soup contains coconut milk, it is important to choose an aromatic wine with high acidity to balance the aromas and the fat from the coconut. A Riesling is an excellent choice, but also Pinot Gris and off-dry Chenin Blanc.
Tips! Do you want to know more about pairing wine and spicy food? Check out our guide Best wine for spicy food.
Miso soup is a relatively salty soup. It can be tricky to pair with wine, but light, slightly sweet Riesling or Chenin Blanc can be good pairings. Try it and see if you like it! A savory, fortified wine like fino sherry can also pair well.
Enjoy your wine together with your bowl of soup!