Butternut Squash and Black Bean Stew

Where do you find matches for vegetable dishes in a food and wine world of "white with white, red with red" when the colors refer, not to greens, but to meats? Take heart, legume lovers; lots of wines taste great with foods cooked outside the corral. Go for lighter reds, fuller-flavored whites, even wines that hint at the “vegetal” themselves, such as some Cabernet Franc-based reds. In general, high-acid, low-alcohol, lighter and fruitier, even slightly tannic reds go best when animal protein and fat do not play on the plate. Avoid blockbuster, high-booze reds; they’re just too meaty.

Here’s what you’ll need:

• vegetable oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 tsp toasted cumin seeds
• salt
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 15 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
• 1 10-ounce package frozen butternut squash (or 10 ounces peeled fresh, diced)
• 1 15-ounce can rinsed black beans
• 1 tsp chopped fresh sage leaves (or 1/2 tsp dried)
• salt & pepper to taste

Here’s what you do:

Makes: 2 servings
[1] Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat; add 1 chopped onion, 1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; cook until onion is soft, 5 minutes. [2] Add 2 cloves minced garlic; cook 1 minute. [3] Stir in 1 can or box (15 ounces) low sodium chicken broth, 1 10-ounce package frozen cubed butternut squash (or 10 ounces peeled fresh diced), 1 15-ounce can drained and rinsed black beans, and 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried; cook until heated through and sage becomes aromatic, 5 minutes. (If using fresh squash, cook 10 minutes before adding beans and sage.) [4] Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice.

And the wines?

Jean Biecher Pinot Gris Alsace, France
Folk from Alsace know a thing or two about wine with food because there’s a Michelin-starred restaurant every three meters.

Galerna Garnacha, Spain
Chock full of tastes and savors of dark red berries; sweet tannins, mouth-filling but not grating.

Laroche-Jaubert Graves Rouge Bordeaux, France
Whiffs of cedar accent black fruit flavors and an earthy finish.