Sometimes, wine pairing advice can be too strict. You can eat whatever you like while enjoying any wine that you choose. What about pairing a green-chile cheeseburger and a glass of crisp Chablis. It sounds great. It would be recommended in many food-pairing books. It is not recommended, but you can try it. While some pairings are best avoided, such as tannic red wine with artichokes and raw asparagus, these pairings are rare. However, there are a few tried-and-true guidelines that will help you live a life of wine and food love. It is essentially a matter of “knowing the rules before breaking them”! Here are 15 ways to pair food and wines. These 15 tips can be committed to memory and then mastered. Then, you can break the rules to your heart’s content.
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Pinot Noir: Pair with earthy flavors
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Recipes made with More Wine Pairings Ideas
02 of 15
Chardonnay: Excellent with Fatty Fish, or Fish in a Rich Sauce
Silky whites, such as many Chardonnays, from California, Chile or Australia, are great with hearty seafood like swordfish, or any other type of seafood in rich sauces.
SIZZLING SHRM PICTURES
03 of 15
Champagne: The perfect pairing with anything salty
A lot of dry sparkling wines such as Spanish cava and brut Champagne have a slight sweetness. They are refreshing when paired with salty food. They can also help cut through the oiliness of fried foods: A bowl of potato chips and bubbly is a great combination.
04 of 15
Cabernet Sauvignon: Delicious with Juicy Red Meat
Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Bordeaux-style blends from California are great with steaks or lamb dishes. Cab’s firm tannins cut through fat and protein, which then smoothen out the tannins. Each bite is a perfect example of this perfect symbiotic relationship.
05 of 15
Sauvignon Blanc: Pairs well with tart dressings and sauces
Tangy foods, such as scallops with a grapefruit and onion salad, won’t overpower zippy wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Vinho Verde from Portugal and Verdejo in Spain. Sauvignon Blanc can also be used with vinaigrette or roasted or sauteed seafood, as well as goat cheese.
06 of 15
Dry Rose: Rich, Cheesy Dishes
Some cheeses are better with white wine, while others can be enjoyed alongside red. Most cheeses pair well with dry rose. This wine has both the acidity and fruity character of white wines. Rose goes well with fresh salads, grilled fish, and large plates of charcuterie.
More Grilled cheese recipes
07 of 15
Pinot Grigio: Pairs well with light fish dishes
Pair light seafood dishes with delicate white wines like PinotGrigio or Arneis, Chablis, and Vinho Verde, from Portugal, to get more flavor.
08 of 15
Malbec: Can withstand sweet-spicy barbecue sauces
Cotes-du-Rhone, Shiraz, Malbec and Shiraz are bold enough to be paired with foods brushed in barbecue sauces. But, it’s important that the sauce doesn’t overpower the wine’s fruit.
Moscato d’Asti: Loves Fruit Desserts
Moscato d’Asti, demi-sec Champagne and Moscato d’Asti are sweet sparkling wines that help to emphasize the fruit rather than the sugar. These HoneyedFig Crostatas are a great way to pair it. You can also add it to a simple summer fruit salad or splash it into it.
HONEYED FIG CROSTATAS
10 of 15
Syrah: Highly Spiced Dishes
If a meat has been heavily spiced, you should look for red wines with lots of spicy notes. Syrah from Washington, France’s Rhone valley, Cabernet Franc of the Loire and Xinomavro, from Greece, are all excellent choices. Avoid spicy heat. High-alcohol wines can intensify the flavor of hot dishes such as these.
11 of 15
Gruner Veltliner: Goes well with fresh herbs and vegetables
The citrus-and clover scent of Austrian Gruner Veltliner is wonderful when there are many fresh herbs in a dish. Albarino, from Spain, and Vermentino, from Italy are also great grapes.
Pairs well with dark, leafy greens and a light red wine
12 of 15
Zinfandel: Zinfandel for Terrines, Mousses and Pates
Pairing wines and dishes can be made easier if you use the same adjectives. You can use the words “rustic”, “savory” or “rich” to describe Zinfandel, Nero d’Avola from Italy, Spain, and a creamy liver mousse. Zinfandel is naturally drawn to spice and fruit, as well as barbecued and sauce-slathered meats.
13 of 15
Off-Dry Riesling: Goes well with sweet and spicy dishes
Vouvrays and many Gewurztraminer have a slight sweetness that helps to temper the heat of spicy dishes. It also allows for more aromatic ingredients to be used. Any wine will be delicious with a spicy green salad.
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Rose Champagne: Not just for Hors d’Oeuvres, but also for dinner
Rose sparkling wines such as Prosecco rose and rose champagne from California have the richness and flavor to pair well with many main courses. It’s great with grilled tuna, lamb chops, and this Beet Risotto.
Best California Wines
15 of 15
Old World Wines: For Old World Dishes
It’s almost always possible to find the same flavors in foods and wines over time, such as Tuscan recipes and Tuscan wines. This is a result of the old wine-pairing advice: “If it grows together it goes together.” As it has been for generations, this Pappardelle with Veal Ragu goes well with a medium-bodied Chianti.
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