Drink

The Ultimate Wine and Food Pairing Guide

Did you know that Italy has been ranked as the best country in the world for wine lovers?

The survey conducted by Lastminute.com ranked France as the second-best country for wine, Spain as the third-best country for wine, and South Africa as the fourth.

If you want to impress your friends and family with your food and drink knowledge and host a dinner party, then keep reading to check out our wine and food pairing guide.

How to Pair Wine with Food

Sharpening your culinary skills doesn’t have to take too much time. Enriching your dishes can be done when you pair it with the right beverage. If you’re a beginner to food and wine pairings and no idea which wine goes well with which food, we’ve got you covered.

Tip 1: Master Wine Pairings with This Simple Rule

Firstly, it is very important that you match your wine with your food. Choose a lighter wine, such as white wines, for lighter meals. Choose a heavier wine, such as red wines, for heavier meals.

For example, if you’re making a fish dish such as Sole or cod, then make sure you pair it with a white such as a Sauvignon Blanc. If you’re making a red meat dish then pair it with a red such as Malbec. 

Tip 2: Do Your Own Experiments

Spend some time experimenting with your favorite foods and wines. Open a few different bottles and cook up some of your most-loved dishes. Taste the wine and then try your dishes. Focus on which dish goes best with which wine. 

You might want to invite some friends and family over to help you experiment with different tastes and textures. Everyone will have different preferred tastes, but it will be interesting to find out who likes which wine pairing most and why.

Tip 3: Visit a Winery

One of the best ways to learn more about your favorite wine is to visit wineries. At the winery, you’ll be able to ask the experts about the wines and find out more about the wine’s flavors and which food they best compliment. 

Alternatively, if you can’t make it to a winery, you might choose to go to a local restaurant that has a food and wine pairing menu. These menus are designed to educate you on different foods and wines that go well together.

Tip 4: Identify the Basic Taste of Your Dish

Another way to get your pairing right is by identifying the basic tastes in your dish. Is your dish salty? Is it acidy? Is it sweet? Is the dish bitter? Is it fatty? Or is your dish spicy?

Once you’ve identified the basic taste of your dish you can then match it with the right wine. Red wines tend to have more bitterness, White, rosé, and sparkling wines generally have more acidity. And of course, sweet-tasting wines have more sweetness.

Tip 5: Match the Wine to the Sauce

If your dish uses a sauce then make sure you match your wine to that, as opposed to the meat. If your dish uses a citrus sauce then match your meal with a sauvignon blanc. If your sauce is red and rich then pair it with a shiraz. If your sauce is creamy or mushroomy then pair it with chardonnay.

If your dish doesn’t have a sauce with it then just focus on matching your wine with the meat or fish.

Wine Pairing Guide: Dishes and Wines

Now you’ve learned a little more about the way to pair your wines and dishes, have a look at these commonly paired meals and wines. The most common wines include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Syrah.

Chefs and cooking enthusiasts tend to pair Chardonnay with grilled chicken or grilled fish. Chardonnay also goes great with shellfish and salmon. If you’re wanting to pair Chardonnay with a particular sauce then make sure it is a creamy one. 

Pinot Noir is also known to pair well with chicken, salmon, and foods that have been grilled. 

If you’re planning a cheese and wine party, make sure you combine mild cheese with Sauvignon Blanc. This white wine also goes well with fruit and white or light fish.

Combine red meats that have been grilled or smoked with Cabernet Sauvignon. This red wine also goes great with barbequed steak. 

Serve Merlot with pasta, red meat, or duck dishes. This great-tasting red can also be served with smoked or grilled foods.

Italian dishes in particular work well with Zinfandel. If you’re serving your guests with tomato pasta dishes, pizzas, or pesto dishes, then make sure you pair it with Zinfandel. You can also serve Zinfandel with red meats and chicken that has a heavy sauce.

Syrah works best with spicy pizzas, herbed sauces on red meat, and red meats. You might also want to serve Syrah at Thanksgiving as it pairs great with turkey.

Light spicy dishes, salads, pasta salads, or BBQ chicken and fish, try pairing these dishes with a Dry Rosé.

Learn more about wine by discovering the latest findings from the 2019 wine industry expo.

Impress Your Friends and Family with Your Knowledge from Our Wine and Food Pairing Guide

Follow our wine and food pairing guide to impress your friends and family at your next dinner party. Remember to try out the pairing before you serve it up and that there are no rules set in stone when pairing, so get creative and try out new combinations. 

If you enjoyed this guide, then make sure you check out some of our other articles all about food and drink and be sure to have a look at some of our latest recipes.