Food and Wine Pairing 101

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Wine experts say that food and wine pairing is a matter of personal taste.  As we all know the old rule of the thumb is to match up white wine with white meat while red wine goes well with red meat, yet these days, you can bypass the old rule as you can select and enjoy the right wine to pair with a variety of meat, fish, poultry as well as with cheese, chocolates and other desserts. To achieve the best match it is important to balance and harmonize the flavors of the food and the wine so neither of the two will overpower the other. It is just like referring the wine as a sauce that can complement the food. So if the combination pleases you then it is the right choice for you.

 food and wine pairing


Below are basic guides for beginners in food and wine pairing.


Serve Cabernet with a fatty Prime Rib. The fat of the meat will balance the bitter taste or the tannin of the wine, thus will bring a smoother feel when combined.


Choose Barolo, Sauvignon Blanc or Chianti if you are serving any pasta dish with tomato sauce to savor the citrus flavor of the food. Keep in mind that acidic wine can increase the acid taste of your dish. So, sour foods complements with sour wine.


It is important to match a wine based on the dominant flavor such as hearty red sauce or a creamy lemon sauce and not primarily with the meat color.


Try a Gewürztraminer or a Riesling if you are serving a spicy dish.  A low alcohol and sweeter wine blends well with a hot dish.


When it comes to dessert it is best recommended to pair it with a sweeter wine.  The combination of two sweets transforms both flavors completely.


Here are some examples of the perfect wine and food combinations from


Asparagus – Sauvignon Blanc

Christmas Pudding – Liqueur Muscat

Consommé – Fino Sherry or Manzanilla

Foie Gras – Sauternes & Barsac

Fruits de Mers – Muscadet & Albarino

Goat’s Cheese – Sancerre or Pouilly Fume

Oysters – Champagne

Parma Ham and Melon – Italian Pinot Grigio

Roast Lamb – Red Bordeaux

Roast Pork – Beaujolais, Rioja

Roquefort – Sauternes

Stilton – Port & Madeira

Strawberries and Cream – Sweet Vouvray

Sushi – Riesling



A good starting point to discover excellent combinations that will please your taste is to experiment. Choose from the various wines available that will complement your cuisine. Enhance the overall experience of your meal and enjoy family occasions by selecting the right wine that will best complement it.


Photo credits:  Genny Arevalo Hutson

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