Food and Wine Pairing Guide
As intimidating as it might seem, pairing food and wine is quite easy—if you keep a few basic principles in mind.
- Look for complements. Consider the flavor and texture of your food and choose a wine with similar characteristics. For example, a light-tasting fish calls for a white wine, like Chardonnay. Heavier red wines, like Syrah, go better with heartier food like a meat-topped pizza.
- Contrasting flavors can work. Try a very sweet wine with an extremely spicy dish. Just be careful not to let the food overpower the wine or vice versa.
- Try similar regions. You can also let the wine’s region of origin provide some clues. If your meal is Tuscan-inspired, for instance, pick a wine from that area.
- Go with your instincts. Taste is individual, so experiment until you find a fantastic combination of your own.
To help plan a meal with the right wine pairing, here’s a guide on what foods and wines go best together.
If you’re serving: Seafood or Chicken
Open a bottle of: Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio
These medium-bodied whites pair well with light seafood or chicken dishes.
If you’re serving: Spicy Food
Open a bottle of: Riesling
The light sweetness of Riesling cuts down the heat of spicy food.
If you’re serving: Pork or Vegetarian
Open a bottle of: Sauvignon Blanc
A crisp, aromatic wine that goes well with many pork or vegetarian dishes.
If you’re serving: Steak or Beef
Open a bottle of: Merlot
This red wine with flavors of plum, cherries and blueberries pairs well with red meat.
If you’re serving: Salmon or Duck
Open a bottle of: Pinot Noir
This versatile wine with a delicate taste goes great with salmon or duck dishes.
If you’re serving: BBQ or Casseroles
Open a bottle of: Syrah or Shiraz
A spicy and dark wine that’s excellent with barbecued meats or casseroles.