With autumn well underway, we are amidst one of the best seasons of the year – soup season is here! If I could, I would eat soup every day of the year. But soup just hits differently during the cool autumn season. Wine country is looking absolutely gorgeous these days as vineyards throughout Napa Valley prepare to go dormant, transforming into an array of yellows, oranges and reds. There’s a cool breeze in the air and it has even rained a couple times already. These are the perfect conditions for curling up to a heartwarming bowl of soup ideally paired with a delectable glass of wine to match. Vineyard Brands was kind enough to have gifted me a trio of La Vieille Ferme wines. So, I thought what better way to savor them than with exquisite soup pairings for a few comforting weeknight meals. First up, a Mexican street corn soup paired with the La Vieille Ferme Blanc, an animated blend of white varieties from the south of France.
What is Mexican Street Corn?
In case you haven’t been to Mexico or didn’t grow up in California like me, Mexican street corn is an insanely delicious way to savor corn on the cob. Called an elote in Spanish, the preparation involves slathering grilled corn on the cob with a mayo cream sauce and sprinkling on crumbled cotija cheese, chopped cilantro, chili powder, and lime. It’s one of my favorite ways to eat corn and my husband loves elote, too.
I knew the sweet, buttery flavors of corn would pair beautifully with the flavor profile of the La Vieille Ferme Blanc. Though admittedly I’ve never met a corn soup I’ve really loved. In researching recipes online, I stumbled across this recipe from Platings & Pairings. The Mexican street corn caught my eye and I felt compelled to give this corn soup a try. Albeit with a few tweaks of my own to the recipe.
What is the Best Wine Pairing for Corn Soup?
Corn soup is typically loaded with sweet, buttery flavors with a rich, creamy texture. The right wine pairing should have bright acidity to cleanse the palate and complement the richness of the soup. Plus, fruit forward flavors that will pop on the palate alongside the sweetness of the corn.
Many Chardonnays, particularly those with a creamy texture from malolactic fermentation, make a great match for corn soup. As would Southern Rhône white wines like oily and aromatic Viognier, or an opulent Marsanne and Roussanne.
But since this is Mexican street corn soup, we also have zesty lime, spicy chili, and fragrant cilantro flavors to consider. All of which work well with fresh white wines with lively fruit flavors and floral aromatics.
La Vieille Ferme Blanc
La Vieille Ferme is one of the esteemed Famille Perrin brands. Owners of the renowned Château de Beaucastel in the Southern Rhône and partners behind Paso Robles gem Tablas Creek, the Perrin family are masters of their craft. Particularly when it comes to Southern Rhône varieties. Their La Vieille Ferme range of wines delivers incredible value for price point ($10)
The La Vieille Ferme Blanc is a blend of Bourboulenc, Grenache Blanc, Ugni Blanc, and Vermentino. This blend definitely punches above its price. It’s enjoyable and delightfully aromatic with notes of juicy asian pear, orange blossom, lime verbena, white peaches, and crisp green apples. Expect a medium-bodied palate, mouthwatering acidity, and a supple albeit yet short finish. This French white wine is a quintessential weeknight wine and an ultimate wine pairing for Mexican street corn soup.
Why the Soup Wine Pairing Works
The stone and orchard fruit flavors of the La Vieille Ferme Blanc are made all the more vibrant by the sweet, creamy flavors of the corn soup. While the wine’s bright acidity highlights the citrusy lime juice and herbaceous cilantro garnish. With great freshness and juicy fruit flavors, this French white wine cleanses the palate after every bite of the velvety soup, keeping you coming back for more.
Grab the recipe below and let me know if you try this soup wine pairing.
This velvety corn soup is inspired by elotes, or Mexican street corn. A decisive upgrade from traditional cream of corn soup and loaded with flavor from cilantro, lime, cotija cheese, and a touch of habanero hot sauce.
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 6 small baby gold potatoes, peeled and cubed into ½ inch cubes (or 3 medium yukon gold potatoes)
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 16 oz frozen sweet corn
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp favorite hot sauce I love Yellow Bird Habanero
- 32 oz chicken broth
- 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
- 1 tbsp lime juice plus lime for garnish
- salt & pepper to taste
In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Sauté onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, chili powder and red pepper flakes while cooking. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the potatoes and white wine. Allow to simmer covered for 3-5 minutes. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Stir in the corn and cream, cooking for 5 minutes until warmed through.
Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to blend the soup to desired consistency. Or remove 1.5 cups of soup to blend with an immersion or regular blender, and add the blended soup back to the pot to just add some creaminess to the soup.
Add cotija cheese, cilantro, and lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Garnish with cotija cheese crumbles, cilantro, lime, and a dash of chili powder when served.