Pinot Noir, Grenache, GSM, and Cabernet Franc are excellent wine pairings with meaty dishes containing Tzatziki sauce as a Lamb Pita, Lamb Kebabs or a Gyros.
For vegan dishes like salads or Crudité containing Tzatziki sauce, pair up with a Rose or dry white wine like Txakolina Rosado, Trebbiano, Sauvignon Blanc, Assyrtiko, Carignan Rosé or Retsina. These wines work quite nicely as they counter the sharp bite of garlic found in Tzatziki sauce.
Tzatziki sauce is a tangy yogurt-based sauce containing cucumber, dill, garlic and mint. You’ll see Tzatziki as a condiment on several Greek dishes, like Gyros or a Lamb pita. The sauce is delicious with many vegan dishes like Fried Zucchini and Crudités, as a Salad Dressing or as a dipping sauce for torn-up Pita bread.
Txakolina Rosado is a dry Spanish Rosé that is a little bit fizzy and a whole lot of tangy. Txakolina Rosado complements the tanginess of the yogurt while also providing a refreshing distraction from the garlic flavours in your Tzatziki sauce. Meanwhile, the chilled, fizzy fun of this dry Rosé keeps your mouth alert and aware in between bites and sips of food and wine.
Retsina & Tzatziki Sauce Pairing
Retsina is a Greek white wine featuring lime, apple, peach and roses aromas. On the finish, you get a bit of pine resin and saline, which will surprise you at first but excel at sharpening the flavours of your Tzatziki sauce and any food you pair with it. Furthermore, the flavours of dill, cucumber and mint in the Tzatziki sauce will soften the pine resin flavours of Retsina.
The dryness of Retsina softens the garlic bite, while the pine and lime notes sharpen the flavours of whatever the Tzatziki sauce is accompanying.
Retsina isn’t readily available in North America as it is not a popular white wine over here. However, any Greek restaurant that has a wine list should carry it. And, of course, if you’re ever in Greece, Retsina is a must-have with authentic Greek cuisine.
Assyrtiko & Tzatziki Sauce Pairing
Assyrtiko is a dry white wine which has a vibrant yellow-gold colour and tastes of pear, apple, citrus blossoms and minerals.
High in acidity, Assyrtiko will pair up great with any veggie or shellfish dishes accompanying your Tzatziki sauce. Assyrtiko loves a tomato/feta salad, and adding a dollop of Tzatziki to the mix will get the party started. Assyrtiko goes so well with Tzatziki because it softens the garlic flavours with the wine’s acidic dryness.
Trebbiano & Tzatziki Sauce Pairing
Trebbiano might be more famous for making Balsamic vinegar or Brandy; however, in Italy, this fruity and crisp white wine is beloved for its peach, apple, lemon and basil flavours. Trebbiano is an excellent wine pairing with Tzatziki sauce as it brings out the cucumber and dill flavours while offering a refreshing contrast against the garlic in the sauce.
Sauvignon Blanc & Tzatziki Sauce Pairing
All of the above wines are tricky to get, and if you are relying on imported wine, the selection available to you might not be top-notch. However, with Sauvignon Blanc, you’ll have access to some of the most incredible white wines in the world.
I’m a lover of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and the herbaceous notes of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc are exceptional, with the dill and cucumber flavours found in Tzatziki. The dryness of the Sauvignon Blanc also hinders those sharp garlic flavours. Sauvignon Blanc from any region will be exceptional, so you don’t need to seek out one from New Zealand. I prefer the New Zealand style over others, as it was my first wine crush.
Being tart, fruity and dry, Sauvignon Blanc is incredibly food-friendly, so if you are dipping veggies into Tzatziki or serving it up on some deep-fried eggplant, you will have a wonderful wine match.
Cabernet Franc & Tzatziki Sauce Pairing
Red wine might seem an odd pairing for Tzatziki sauce; however, Cabernet Franc has a lovely violet undertone that offsets the sharp garlic flavours of the sauce. Furthermore, Cabernet Franc features notes of green bell pepper, herbs, mint and green olives, which fit right in with the cucumber, dill and mint found in Tzatziki. Don’t worry; your glass of Cabernet Franc won’t taste like a green smoothie. Cabernet Franc is prolific with fruity currant, blackberry, raspberry, plum and red cherry notes.
While I wouldn’t recommend Cabernet Franc with lighter vegan dishes like crudité, it’s perfectly fine with heartier or grilled vegan options (like grilled eggplant or veggie sandwiches) that contain Tzatziki sauce. Cabernet Franc is exceptional with any herbed lamb, chicken or rabbit dishes accompanying your Tzatziki sauce.
Pinot Noir & Lamb with Tzatziki Sauce
Lamb served with Tzatziki Sauce is commonly served in Greece and Spain (such as a lamb-kebab or lamb Souvlaki), and Pinot Noir is a wonderful wine pairing for this dish. The wild strawberry and cherry notes of Pinot Noir lift up the Lamb flavours while muting out the gaminess. Meanwhile, the earthier notes of Pinot Noir fit right in with the garlic and lamb flavours of the dish.