Food and wine are intrinsically linked so choose a wine that complements the meal and brings out the best in the food’s flavors. The guidelines below will steer you in the right direction.
Pair wines and foods of the same flavors
Similar food and wine flavors complement each other. Sole with lemon sauce and Sauvignon Blanc both have citrus flavors.
Pair wines and foods with the same weight/texture
Similarly weighted food and wine complement each other. Food and wine can be light, medium or heavy-bodied. Lobster and Chardonnay are both medium-weight and rich so they complement each other.
Pair wines and foods with the same sweetness level
Wine should be equal to or higher in sugar than the dish. Roasted pork with apple glaze pairs beautifully with Riesling.
Crisp wines balance salty flavors. A crisp Sauvignon Blanc balances salty olives and feta cheese.
Pair the wine to the sauce served.
-Light citrus sauces pair with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
-Heavy cream and mushroom sauces are ideal with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
-Red and meat sauces match Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah.
Match wine to meat, fish or poultry when serving without a sauce. Pinot Noir tastes great with duck.
Sweeter wines offer relief from spicy foods. Riesling pairs well with Asian cuisines.
Tannic wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon cut through the coating that fat leaves in the mouth. Cabernet pairs great with steak.
Nature has color-coded fruit and vegetables with the wine best suited to their flavors. Sauvignon Blanc is pale yellow and pairs well with citrus.
Wine should be equal to, or higher, in acid than the dish. A perfect example is pairing Pinot Noir with tomato tapenade.