What Pairs Well With Wine

Discovering the ideal combination of wine and food can enhance the enjoyment of sipping on a glass of wine. Being a wine lover, I have dedicated countless hours to discovering the intriguing realm of matching …

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Discovering the ideal combination of wine and food can enhance the enjoyment of sipping on a glass of wine. Being a wine lover, I have dedicated countless hours to discovering the intriguing realm of matching food and wine. In this piece, I will reveal my own thoughts and delve into the skill of pairing wine with various dishes.

Understanding Wine and Food Pairings

Pairing wine with food is an art form that involves understanding the characteristics of both the wine and the dish. The goal is to find a harmonious balance, where the flavors of the wine and food complement each other, creating a delightful and memorable experience.

One of the fundamental principles of wine and food pairing is to match the intensity of the flavors. For example, light-bodied wines, such as Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc, pair well with delicate dishes like grilled fish or salads. On the other hand, full-bodied wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec are better suited for hearty dishes like grilled steak or braised meats.

Another important factor to consider is the acidity of the wine. High acid wines, such as Riesling or Chardonnay, can cut through the richness of fatty foods, making them an excellent choice for dishes like roasted chicken or creamy pasta. Conversely, low acid wines, like Merlot or Syrah, can complement dishes with bold flavors, such as barbecued ribs or spicy chili.

Classic Wine and Food Pairings

While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to pairing wine and food, there are some classic combinations that never fail to impress. Here are a few of my personal favorites:

  1. Chardonnay with Lobster: The buttery richness of Chardonnay perfectly complements the sweet and succulent flavors of lobster. It’s a match made in culinary heaven.
  2. Pinot Noir with Mushrooms: The earthy and savory notes of Pinot Noir beautifully enhance the flavors of mushrooms. Whether it’s a mushroom risotto or a grilled portobello burger, this pairing never disappoints.
  3. Cabernet Sauvignon with Steak: The bold tannins and rich flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon are a perfect match for a juicy, perfectly seared steak. It’s a classic pairing that never goes out of style.
  4. Sauvignon Blanc with Goat Cheese: The crisp acidity and herbaceous flavors of Sauvignon Blanc provide a refreshing contrast to the creamy and tangy flavors of goat cheese. It’s a combination that always leaves me craving for more.
See also  Is Malbec Sweet

Exploring Unique Wine and Food Pairings

While classic pairings are undeniably delicious, exploring unique combinations can be a thrilling adventure for your taste buds. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and experiment with unexpected pairings. Some of the most memorable wine and food experiences I’ve had were a result of taking risks and embracing creativity.

For example, have you ever tried pairing a spicy Thai curry with a Gewürztraminer? The exotic flavors of the curry are beautifully complemented by the fruity and aromatic notes of the Gewürztraminer, creating a mouthwatering fusion of tastes.

When it comes to dessert, don’t limit yourself to only pairing sweet wines. Sometimes, a bold and robust red wine, like a Cabernet Franc, can be a surprising and delightful companion to a rich chocolate cake.


Pairing wine with food is a fascinating journey that allows you to explore new flavors and enhance your culinary experiences. Whether you stick to classic pairings or venture into uncharted territory, the key is to trust your palate and have fun along the way. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to pairing wine with food. It’s all about finding what you enjoy and creating memorable moments with every sip and bite.

John has been a hobbyist winemaker for several years, with a few friends who are winery owners. He writes mostly about winemaking topics for newer home vintners.
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