How to Pair Mushrooms with Wine

Late autumn, with its increased rainfall and cooler temperatures, is when wild mushrooms grow in Cyprus, so you will find them in markets and local restaurants.

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Late autumn, with its increased rainfall and cooler temperatures, is when wild mushrooms grow in Cyprus, so you will find them in markets and local restaurants. The best known is the red mushroom (or ‘Saffron Milk Cap’), which is usually served baked or sautéed as a side dish. Like many foods, mushrooms can be enhanced by pairing them with wine. The Cyprus red mushroom, for example, goes well with two local varieties of red wine: maratheftiko and yiannoudi. If cooked with tomatoes, mushrooms are enhanced (again) by maratheftiko, but also by chianti and the excellent sangiovese grape with its pronounced acidity. A risotto prepared with porcini mushrooms is complemented by soave and gavi di gavi white wines, barolo red wine, and rosé champagne. A mushroom cream sauce, as is often served with veal, calls for a glass of dry champagne. The savoury ‘umami’ element known as the firth taste in Japanese cooking comes through strongly with its mushroom preparations, which are also well paired with champagne. Oyster mushrooms with soy sauce are nicely accompanied by a pinot noir, merlot, or young rioja. Burgundy, barolo, pinot noir, and cabernet sauvignon are also worthy of consideration with Asian mushroom dishes. If sampling a local preparation of mushrooms with eggs, try local white variety promara because of its strong acidity. Similarly, a quiche with mushrooms calls for an acidic wine like pinot blanc. The earthy taste of a stuffed portobello mushroom benefits from a shiraz or a zinfandel. Pay close attention and you will discover the perfect pairing.