because you don’t already have enough liquid in you.

There are a lot articles out there talking about the challenges of pairing soup with wine. Yes, the last thing you need when you’re working on a nice soup belly is more liquid. And, the interplay of broths, bases, and ingredients can leave even a seasoned gourmand stumped.

But you know what? Pairing soup and wine doesn’t have to be so hard. In fact, it’s actually pretty simple if you apply the basic concepts of food and wine pairing. We, over here at Wine Folly, talked it over and came up with the soups we’re hot on this season and the wines we’d drink with them. Read on. (But not with an empty stomach.)

Pairing Wine with Soup

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Chili Con Carne with Tempranillo

This hearty, spicy Tex-Mex favorite begs for an equally muscular and meaty wine to ride alongside it. That’s why we picked Tempranillo, specifically a Rioja Reserva (or Gran Reserva, if you’re feeling fancy). If you really want to be legit, try a Tempranillo from Texas (a specialty!).

Why? The dusty, leathery Tempranillo wines from Spain offer enough spice and meatiness to work as a congruent pairing with the dish, and when served alongside, the chili will actually make the wine taste a little more fruity (kind of like cherries and figs). There were many great recent vintages in Spain, so you’re pretty safe here, except for the 2012 and 2013 vintages (which were “meh”).

Chili Wine Pairing Alternative: Bubbles! Believe it or not, a bottle of Brut Cava is surprisingly great. The acidity, effervescence, and bitter backbone mesh with the scant cheddar cheese sprinkled on top (if you do so), and make the whole taste engagement more creamy. It’s like having sour cream, minus the sour cream.

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