Pairing Wine with Food 


wine with foodBasic wine selection rules dictate that white wines are best when paired with fish or poultry and red wines with steak or spaghetti.  But beyond these very obvious choices, selecting a certain style of wine (varietal) and country of origin will bring a new sophistication to any dinner party, restaurant meal or social event. But how will you know which wine to serve with what? 

Firstly, Balance is everything.  Food and wine should harmonize. You probably won’t want an overpowering Shiraz with your delicate lobster, nor would you enjoy a dainty Chablis with those BBQ’d ribs. 

Here are a few pointers for selecting just the right wine. 

1. Pair strong flavors together –
If you’re going to be enjoying big flavorful foods like barbequed ribs, you’d probably be happiest with a red wine which is big and fruity, possibly with an oakiness or vanilla flavor. A good choice might be a Shiraz from Australia or a Zinfandel from Northern California. A delicate red wine like burgundy, (pinot noir), would be overpowered by this cuisine.   

2.  Spicy foods love sweeter wine –
With an abundance of exotic foods from foreign lands tempting our palates, we want to experiment with the cuisine of India, Thailand and all other Asian nations. An excellent choice with fiery foods and their delectable sauces are the sweeter white wines. Gewürztraminer, Rieslings and the whites from the Alsatian region of France provide a wonderful marriage of tastes.  

3. Season, style body and weight all matter - 
During the colder months you may crave heartier foods like a beef stew, pot roast or brisket. Serve these rich and meaty foods with something robust like a cabernet sauvignon or Shiraz. Likewise, in the summer months when you’re eating lighter, (egg dishes. salads, fresh produce and fresh fish), choose a Pinot Grigio or one of the fabulous rose wines from the south of France to enhance the foods of the season.  

4.  Foods and wine from the same country most often work well together. Wine Tours
If you’re ever in doubt, keep in mind that foods and wines from the same county generally work extremely well together. Traditional French bistro fare is wonderful when paired with a Rhone wine or Beaujolais. While a good Chianti is ideal with Italian foods such as succulent veal dishes or pasta. Spanish wines are a terrific match with traditional chorizo sausage, manchego cheese and tapas, and those juicy California wines are superb with the fresh and delicious cuisine of the Bay area.