pairing the right wine with the right food

Unless you are the ultimate wine snob, you probably are like most casual wine drinkers and don’t have a good grasp of what wines go best with different food items. Let’s be brutally honest (if you are like me), your knowledge of wines is basically limited to the color spectrum. There’s red and white (and those blush in-between colors)!

 There are, however, some basic guidelines anyone can follow when choosing a wine based on the food menu. Here are some directions to follow when deciding on a wine that’s perfect for any entrée:

Chardonnay - If the menu involves fish as the main course, you might consider a silky white wine. This selection would especially be a good choice if the main course involved a fatty fish like salmon or a fish dish (like shrimp) served with a rich sauce. There are great Chardonnays from California, Chile or Australia that fit the bill.

Pinot Noir – If the menu calls for pizza, a red Pinot Noir is a perfect choice. In fact, this light-bodied wine complements any earthy flavored dish containing mushrooms or truffles.

Champagne – Are there lots of cheeses, nuts, and chips on the menu?  If so, a perfect choice would be Champagne.  This bubbly wine is a compliment to anything salty.

Cabernet Sauvignon/Bordeaux – Here’s a staple for meat-lovers everywhere. California Cabernet, Bordeaux and Bordeaux-style blends are perfect for steaks or chops—whether pork or lamb. It’s the tannins in these wines that refresh the palate after each bite of meat.

Sauvignon Blanc – Serving scallops with grapefruit/onion salad? Or, are there dishes with strong flavor, spiced with such trendy spices as cumin, harissa, Chinese five spice, or other heavy spices? If so, a Sauvignon Blanc from Portugal or Spain is a perfect choice. 

Pinot Grigio – Mild-tasting dishes in the seafood line, like halibut, cod, flounder, or scallops and shrimp (with no sauce or only a light sauce) are best enjoyed with a Pinot Grigio from Italy or France. 

Moscato d’Asti -  Ahh! Deserts need a special wine compliment. If pies, cobblers or hot fruit compotes are on the menu, the perfect pairing is a sweet sparkling wine like Moscato d’Asti. It will emphasize the fruit in the dessert.

Riesling – Asian and Indian dishes are ever so popular now.  And the perfect choice for taming the heat of spicy dishes like a Thai ground pork salad is a light and sweet wine like a Riesling.

If you have an invitation to attend a dinner party and know what’s on the menu, why not surprise the host with a gift of the perfect wine, enclosed in our wine gift box set.

Our Case Elegance Wine Gift box set is a memorable way to showcase any wine and make a real statement of appreciation that will be remembered long after the meal.

Bill Dragon | Author
Back to blog

5 Best Cigars For Your Taste Profile

Take The Quiz Now