Acidic, earthy and medium-bodied red wines like Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, Barbera, and Côtes du Rhône pair best with French Onion Soup. For white wine, Chardonnay, Viognier, or Pinot Gris are excellent with French Onion Soup and holding up to its strong flavours. French Onion Soup has a strong, and sweet caramelized onion flavour does have a strong flavour that can easily overwhelm a delicate wine. You’ll also want a wine with acidity cut through cheesy and garlicky crouton crust flavours of this decadent soup.
Beaujolais Villages & French Onion Soup Pairing
It’s important to never pair a full-bodied French Onion Soup with a full-bodied and high alcohol red wine. This combination will make your mouth burn with an unappealing heat making you unable to taste anything. Instead, you want a zippy and fruity red wine, such as Beaujolais Villages, low in alcohol and high in acidity. With French Onion Soup, you might be worried that it would swamp out the lighter flavours of Beaujolais, however, the wine’s acidity acts as a flavour enhancer and ensures the brightness of the wine shines through as well as all the delicious flavours of your French Onion Soup.
Beaujolais-Villages has bright cherry, raspberry, plum and strawberry flavours that pick up on the onion’s sweetness. You’ll also get notes of spice, clove, earth and minerals that complement the French Onion Soup’s rustic flavours. Meanwhile, the wine’s acidity has no issue cutting through the gooey Mozzarella cheese and bread crust that sits upon this hearty soup.
Côtes du Rhône & French Onion Soup Pairing
Côtes du Rhône is a medium-bodied red with a fruity, earthy aspect that pairs well with the caramelized onion flavours of French Onion Soup. Dominated by the Grenache grape, Côtes du Rhône is a blended red wine that is specifically designed to be food-friendly with straight-forward cuisine such as French Onion Soup.
Sipping the wine alongside a steamy bowl of soup, Côtes du Rhône’s fruity flavours of raspberry and strawberry dance across your tongue and provide a pleasant contrast to the rich flavours of the French Onion Soup. Meanwhile, you’ll find lively notes of black pepper, spice, herbs and smoke in Côtes du Rhône that complement the earthiness of the onions in your soup.
Pinot Noir & French Onion Soup Pairing
Pinot Noir is high in acidity and full of bright strawberry, cherry, and raspberry flavours that complement the sweetness of the caramelized onions. Pinot Noir also has an appealing mushroom and truffle quality on the nose that makes it a good match with the rustic onion, garlic and herbs notes of French Onion soup.
The issue with Pinot Noir is that it is expensive for a good bottle. There are many bottles of Pinot Noir on shelves that go for under $20, however, these are often cheap knockoffs of the true Pinot Noir experience. Pinot Noir is a difficult wine to grow, and as such, it’s always going to be expensive due to the amount of labour and love that goes into creating this extraordinary wine.
Cheaper bottles of Pinot Noir often use chemicals, additives and extracts to save money, but the wines often come off as sweet, fruity and cheap that have more in common with sugary wine coolers than an elegant red wine. Thus, you’ll want a bottle that goes for at least $35 or more for a good experience. If the French Onion Soup isn’t your main dish, you can always consult our Pinot Noir pairing blog to find the perfect main course.
Viognier & French Onion Soup Pairing
Viognier is a highly aromatic white wine with beautiful flavours of apricot, honeysuckle, mineral, peach, pear, and tropical fruits, all of which offer a refreshing contrast against the full-flavoured onion garlic and cheese flavours of French Onion Soup. Viognier also has a lovely floral character that complements the sweetness of the onions and any garlic used in the dish.
Viognier features a creamy, round mouthfeel similar to Chardonnay, that complements the silky texture of French Onion Soup. Meanwhile, the bold flavours of Viognier can stand up to the sweetness of onions’ natural caramelized flavours in a manner where neither the wine nor soup cancel each other out.
Chardonnay & French Onion Soup Pairing
The buttery and toasty flavours of Chardonnay complement the full-bodied richness of French Onion Soup, as well as the buttery cheese-coated crouton that rests on top. I adore how Chardonnay’s tropical fruit flavours combine so well with the nutty flavour of the melted cheese that encases this classic soup. Chardonnay’s acidity is zesty enough to cut through the heavy onion flavours, and it holds its own against the strong flavours of the soup without getting drowned out.