Pairing Wine with Food

April 29, 2019


A glass of wine

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The trick to pairing wine with food isn’t complicated. Just remember that red wine is a match for red meat dishes while white wine goes well with white meat as well as fish. If you have wine with dessert, sweet wine is best. You should know that this formula is fundamental, although there are exceptions to this rule. A more in-depth guide for pairing wine with food follows.


Foods with Spice

Match chili con carne with a robust and soft red wine like red Zinfandel. With Thai food, white wines like Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc pair well. Marry white wines like Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, German Riesling, and inexpensive sparkling wines with Chinese and Indian food. A Bordeaux is also a good example of a red wine that pairs well with Chinese food.


Vegetable Dishes

Pair red bean dishes and deep-colored starchy foods and vegetables with red wine. Match a dish that features vegetables with a red wine like Petite Sirah. If the dish you are serving is light or contains lots of green vegetables, match it with white wine. Root vegetables go well with Merlot. For sweet vegetables like corn, serve slightly sweet wines like California Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, or Pinot Gris. A good match for tomato dishes is Sauvignon Blanc.

Foods from the Sea

Tuna and salmon harmonize well with wines like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc, so match them up. A light red wine is the best match for tuna. With shrimp, light, dry wine pairs well. Swordfish goes well with white wine, lobster with Champagne or white Burgundy, trout with Mosel Riesling, and white fish with Sauvignon Blanc or light Chardonnay. Grilled sole goes well with Chablis. Chardonnay or white burgundy pairs well with fish in cream sauce.


A grilled steak goes well with Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz/Syrah. A beef casserole pairs well with these two wines, too, and it also goes well with Merlot and Zinfandel. You can serve oven-roasted chicken with wine that pairs well with one of the accompanying dishes. White wine, a light red wine, or a rosė match with turkey.

Pair lamb with Cabernet Sauvignon (preferably a red Bordeaux). You should serve ham with California Pinot Noir, demi-sec Vouvray, Gewurztraminer, or a rosė wine. With duck serve white wine. Chardonnay from California is the best choice for veal, and white or Italian red wine is best for pork.


Popular Cheeses

If you are going to serve cheddar cheese, match it with Cabernet Sauvignon. Pair Roquefort with Sauternes. Goat’s cheese is a match for Sauvignon Blanc.


Other Foods

Drink white Zinfandel with frankfurters and sauerkraut. Enjoy pizza with a light red wine that contains tannin. Match pasta made with tomato sauce with Chianti or Sauvignon Blanc (unoaked). Pasta with a white sauce goes well with Pinot Grigio.

When you make the perfect food and wine match, your food and your drink taste better. You enjoy the full flavor of each. Use this guide for the perfect eating experience.