Pairing Wine and Food
Wine and Food
While there are some "rules" about matching wines with food, it is important to satisfy your own tastes first.
Red wines are usually recommended for heavier meals, especially those including red meat such as beef or lamb. Lighter-bodied reds can also go great with pork and poultry, pasta, and spicy foods. Many of these same foods can be well-complemented by white wines as well, especially chicken and pasta in light or creamy sauces. White wine also goes well with most fish, and there are many sweet white wines such as Riesling that are great with dessert.
Champagne and many sparkling wines go great with a wide variety of dishes, but are most frequently served with hors d'oeuvres or appetizers. Rosés are also excellent as dessert wines, and can be a great accompaniment to dishes where both reds and whites would be considered appropriate.
Refer to the table below for a a guide to serving wine with food. Keep in mind this is just a guide, and you should always feel comfortable in drinking the wine that fits your personal taste.
|Red Varietal||Appetizers||Main Course||Dessert|
|Cabernet Sauvignon||Carpaccio, pungent (stinky) cheeses||Beef, duck, lamb, lentils||Dark and bittersweet chocolate|
|Merlot||Antipasto, aged cheeses||Veal, sausage, salmon, tuna, eggplant||Raspberry, cherry or other dark berry desserts|
|Zinfandel||Seared Ahi tuna, spicy chicken or beef satay||Barbeque, tomato sauce, spicy sausage, duck and beef||Dark berry desserts, carrot cake|
|Pinot Noir||Creamy cheeses, pâtés, roasted vegetables||Veal, chicken, turkey, lean cuts of beef, lamb||Berry tart, flourless chocolate cake, crème brûlée|
|Syrah||Bruschetta, stuffed mushrooms, tapenade||Ham, lamb, pasta with tomato sauce, pizza, barbeque||Cherry pie, chocolate mousse|
|White Varietal||Appetizers||Main Course||Dessert|
|Chardonnay||Scallops, crudités, hummus, mild cheeses||Chicken, cream based sauces, pork and seafood||Cheesecake, poached light fruit|
|Sauvignon Blanc||Oysters, crab cakes, wild mushroom and goat cheese bruschetta||Sea bass, lobster, langoustines, chicken, shrimp||Sorbet, key lime pie, lemon meringue pie|
|Pinot Grigio||Ceviche, ahi tuna tartare, antipasto||Risotto, grilled chicken, lobster, white sauces, crab||Petit fours, apple tart|
|Riesling||Calamari, steamed clams, creamy cheeses||Roasted chicken, grilled pork, baked ham||Light cakes, cream based pie, baked apples|