Spicy wines have hints of pepper and sometimes other spices such as cinnamon or anise. They have a slight bite, sort of like that nippy terrier down the block. Spicy wines go great with some spicy foods like Cajun and island dishes, but they are also great complements to burgers, grilled red meats, and rich poultry dishes.





Recipes for Spicy Wines

Caramelized Onions with Barbecue Sauce
Serves 4

We love a spicy Zin. They make great pairings for burgers, pizza, and more, but they’re best known for serving with barbecue. With that in mind, we offer this gem of a recipe …

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 C canned beef broth
  • 1/2 C of favorite barbecue sauce
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or white vinegar

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, salt and pepper; cook until onions begin to brown, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes.

2. Add broth, barbecue sauce and vinegar. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Serve on burgers. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm before serving. Also works well in a slow cooker!)

Chicks and Chards
Serves 4

Spicy Albarinos are wonderful wines, and this vegan Chickpea and Chard recipe is a perfect match. It’s a bit time-consuming, but not too difficult. A substantial dish, serve with some crusty bread and pureed red pepper soup and you’re good to go!

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • pinch of saffron threads (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 C cilantro
  • ¼ C flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 medium bunches of swiss chard (about 14 leaves with stems) cleaned
  • 2 15-oz cans of chickpeas, rinsed (or 3 C home-cooked)

1. Heat 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp of oil in skillet. Add onion and saffron. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, around 12 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, put garlic, around ½ tsp of salt, cilantro, parsley, and cumin in a small processor and pulse until a rough paste. (You can also hand pound if you prefer.)

3. When onions are golden, add paste and tomato paste.

4. Cut chard leaves off of stems, but reserve stems. Put leaves in wide pot with 2 C of water. Cover and cook until wilted (about 5 minutes). Set leaves in colander, reserving cooking liquid.

5. Trim chard stems so that you’re left with plank-like pieces of even width, then cut into a fine dice. Put in reserved water, and simmer until tender (about 10 minutes).

6. Add chickpeas with 1 C of water or stock to the onions. Coarsely chop chard leaves and add as well. Simmer ten minutes, then add stems. Season with salt and pepper, then serve with remaining oil drizzled all over.

Adapted from Vegetarian Suppers by Deborah Madison