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Wine and Food Pairing Guide

This wine and food pairing guide is designed to give you tips, suggestions, and some tried-and-true combinations. Wine and food pairing is a fun hobby that many people feel very passionate about. If you are a seasoned chef or a wine neophyte, you'll find what you need in this brief but detailed wine and food pairing guide.

First, let's start with the basics. Please know that despite the definitive tone, these are all suggestions you can experiment with. So, in general, you pair red meat with red wine and white meat with white wine. If the meat is very mild and delicate, base the wine/food pairing on the sauce or side dish instead of the meat. Remember, wines can be chosen to compliment or contrast the foods served, depending on your preference. If you are going to be serving two wines with dinner, offer the more delicate one first and reserve the bolder one for last. Dessert? It's generally served best with lighter wines.

Red wines are generally paired with strong cheeses, pasta dishes with tomato sauces, beef, and some chocolates. Furthermore, Pinot Noir is an excellent choice for earthy-flavored dishes, such as mushrooms. Syrah is a wonderful balance for spicy dishes.

White wine is typically served with mild cheeses like gouda, swiss, or mozzarella. White wine is also great with shellfish, seafood, Asian food, pasta dishes in cream-based sauces like alfredo, chicken, and pork. Champagne is just the thing to serve with a salty meal, whereas Sauvignon Blanc is perfect for tart or zippy flavors. If you are serving contrasting flavors like a "sweet and spicy" dish, try Riesling. White wine is also very harmonious to the palate for any food with a fresh lemon or lime squeezed over it.

Any helpful wine and food pairing guide should include listings by food, not just by wine, so here we go. Barbequed food is great with Roja, Chablis, or Baco Noir. Chinese food goes well with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. Likewise, Indian food pairs nicely with Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. Lobster blends nicely with Sauvignon Blanc. Pizza tastes great with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chianti, and Merlot.

If you feel that spices will be dominating the flavor of your meal more than any particular food type, here is our wine and food pairing guide for the following spices/flavors:

• Basil - Merlot
• Bay Leaves - Cabernet Sauvignon
• Black Pepper - Chenin Blanc, Gewurtraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Viognier, Zinfandel
• Caribbean Spices - Chardonnay, Viognier
• Cinnamon - Pinot Noir
• Citrus - Pinot Gris, Semillon
• Chives - Pinot Gris
• Cloves - Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Zinfandel
• Cumin - Semillon
• Curry - Gewurtraminer
• Dill - Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Semillon
• Fennel - Pinot Gris
• Garlic - Sauvignon Blanc
• Ginger - Chardonnay, Riesling
• Mint - Gewurtraminer, Pinot Noir
• Mustard - Chardonnay, Viognier
• Nutmeg - Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc, Merlot
• Oregano - Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc
• Parsley - Cabernet Sauvignon,
• Rosemary - Syrah
• Sage - Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling
• Tarragon - Syrah, Zinfandel
• Thyme - Pinot Gris, Zinfandel

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