Saturday, 15 July 2017 21:09

Food & Wine Pairing

The following is a suggested food and wine pairing guide to assist you in selecting a style of wine based on your food selection. Besides making the most of your meal, this may help narrow down your choices from a long wine list, and give you a conversation starting point with your Sommellier or Server.


As a general rule, wines are better appreciated when they progress from light to heavy over the course of the meal, with white wines served before reds, and dry wines before sweet ones. Sweet dessert wines should taste sweeter than the food they are served with.


Conventional pairings came about to complement or contrast the main ingredient of a dish. For example, white wine has traditionally been paired with fish because its tactile elements – light food and light wine – are complementary. The same rule applies for heavy red meats and full-bodied red wines. But often the dominant flavors of a dish come from other ingredients instead, such as cooking fats, sauces, spices or herbs, that have affinities with particular wines.

Cooking Methods

Cooking methods influence the aromas, tastes and textures of foods and figure prominently in the wine match. Charcoal-grilled foods pair well with oaky wines because they complement the smoky elements of both partners. Braising adds weight and richness to foods, helping them form a stronger link to fuller-bodied wine styles.

Wine Pairing: Wine to Food

Wine - Can Be Paired With

Sparkling - Caviar, Shellfish, Smoked Fish, Double/Triple Cream Cheeses

Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris - Fish, Shellfish, Green Vegetables, Goat and Sharp Cheeses

Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Chenin Blanc - Poultry, Game Birds, Prepared Meats (Charcurerie), Exotic Spices, Citrus

Chardonnay, Viognier, Semillion - Poultry, Game Birds, Fish and Shellfish, Butter Cream, Cows Milk Cheeses

Rose - Smoked Meats, Prepared Meats (Charcuterie), Sausage, Bold Spices, Milor or Strong Cheeses

Gamay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc - Sausage, Prepared Meats, Mild Red Meats, Cheeries, Berries, Aged or Strong Cheeses

Merlot, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir - Red Meats, Game Meats, Sausage, Mushrooms, Truffles, Woody Herbs

Syrah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon - Red Meats, Game Meats, Sausages, Black Pepper, Aged and Hard Cheeses, Blue Cheese

Dessert Wines - Chocolate, Blue Cheeses, Nuts, Dried Fruit

source: Williams Sonoma Guide to Wine Pairing

Wine Pairing: Food to Wine Style

Food Selection - Suggested Wine Style

Red Meat - Full Bodied Red

Cured Meat - Medium Bodied Red

White Meat - Light Bodied Red

Shellfish- Light Bodied White, Aromatic White, or Rose

Fin Fish - Rosè or Aromatic White

Hard Cheese - Aromatic or Full Bodied White

Soft Cheese - Full Bodied White

Greens - Light Bodied White

Exotic Spices - Sparkling

Dessert - Dessert Wines

 source: Wine Folly-The Essential Guide to Wine

More in this category: « Wine Tasting Styles of Wine »

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