15 Tips for Great Wine and Food Pairings


For those who love wine and love food, you understand that the right pairings can enhance a meal. A simple dinner can be completely transformed into a great experience with a simple selection of the right wine. There are many great wine and food pairings out there with even more being discovered every day. To get you started on choosing the right pairings for your wine and meals, consider these 15 tips.

1. Pair Champagne with Salty Foods

You’ll find that dry sparkling wines go well with salty foods. Champagne and Spanish cava, for example, are best paired with foods that have a bit of salt to them. One such food is pizza nibbles. These are small bites of pizza that have been torn off from a regular pizza. The nibbles make them easy to eat for snacks, dinner, or even just a savory treat. Enhance that salty flavor with champagne or Spanish cava to turn the quick treat into a fancier meal.

2. Mix Tart Dressings with Sauvignon Blanc

For those who love Sauvignon Blanc, Vinho Verde, or Verdejo, you need to try to pair it with foods that have tart dressings. That’s because the tart flavor doesn’t cancel out the strong flavor of these wines. For a food pairing, consider having chicken drumsticks with a tangy rice salad.

3. Grüner Veltliner is Great for Veggie Dishes

For those who are vegans, vegetarians, or just want to have a meal made of vegetables, then you need Grüner Veltliner to pair with it. The scent of the wine alone is enough to pair wonderfully with the herbs and veggies. One recipe that you might want to consider with this wine is roasted mushrooms with herb seasonings. The flavors and aromas are to die for.

4. Overly-Spiced Dishes Should Pair with Syrah

If you have a bottle of Syrah, Cabernet Franc, or Xinomavro, then you might want to try out a dish that is heavy with its use of spices and seasonings. Many meat dishes, for example, typically have a lot of spices and seasonings added to the dish. Masla drums with toasted cumin rice can pair beautifully with these bottles. The flavor helps ensure that the spices don’t become too overwhelming.

5. Red Meat with Cabernet Sauvignon

Another wine to consider when you’re eating meat is Cabernet Sauvignon. In particular, the flavor of Cabernet Sauvignon pairs extremely well with red meats. As do other Bordeaux-style wines. This is because the firm tannins that exist within the wine help cleanse your palate. A recipe to consider with this wine is venison steaks. Or any steak will do nicely.

6. Zinfandel with Mousses and Pâtés

Zinfandel is a very rich wine. As such, it pairs well with rich foods like mousses and pâtés. Even terrines can match nicely with Zinfandel. One dish to consider with Zinfandel is Mini Beef Wellingtons. The rich and rustic flavor of the beef is further enhanced by the rich flavor of the wine.

7. Fish Dishes with Pinot Grigio

A lot of people love Pinot Grigio. It’s a delicate wine that doesn’t rest too heavily on the tongue. Obviously, dishes that are just as delicate pair wonderfully with it. Seafood dishes starring light fish are the perfect partner for Pinot Grigio wines. A recipe to try with this bottle is prawn ravioli. Add in a lemon sauce to make it as delicate and refreshing as the wine.

8. Heavier Fish with Chardonnay

If you prefer to have heavier fish dishes, then you’ll want to pair it with Chardonnay instead. Any Chardonnay will do. Regardless of if it’s from California, Australia, or Chile, the Chardonnay is silky and refreshing. It can help lighten the heavy fish taste and make it pleasant on your tongue. One dish to consider with a Chardonnay is Crayfish creamy bisque.

9. Pair Sweet and Spicy with Rieslings

Another popular wine, Rieslings, do extremely well when paired with sweet and spicy dishes. That’s because Rieslings often contain some element of sweetness. When eating a sweet dish, Rieslings can further spur the sweetness and make it an enriching dessert. Whereas when used with spicy foods, that element of sweetness can take some of the bite away from the spice and make it even more delicious. To try your hand at pairing spice with Rieslings, try chicken Chiang Mai curry.

10. Sweet-Spicy BBQ Sauces with Malbec

Perhaps you never would have considered having BBQ sauces with wine. However, sauces that are sweet and spicy in flavor can actually match well with Malbec. That’s because they offer a bold enough flavor to offs-et the sweet and spicy BBQ sauce. Try it for yourself by having spicy kebabs laced with Asian sweet and spicy sauces.

11. Tuscan Wines with Old World Dishes

Sometimes you can’t ignore tradition. A favorite meal of the Old World, braised shoulder of lamb, can be a mouth-watering pairing with Tuscan wines. Pair ancient dishes with ancient wines and you have yourself an indulgent meal–and a history lesson.

12. Earthy Dishes with Pinot Noir

If you love to eat mushrooms or other dishes that have a lot of earthy flavors, then you should try to match them with a Pinot Noir. This wine has a light body but it offers an incredibly savory flavor. Try roasting some mushrooms and other herbs to appreciate this combination.

13. Rosé Champagne for Pork

While some may think of Rosé Champagne as an excellent wine for appetizers, it can also do well with the main dish. Try pork sausages with lentils for a savory meal.

14. Cheesy Dishes with dry Rosé

Everyone loves cheese and wine. A dry Rosé is an excellent companion for cheesy dishes like cheddar burgers or a decadent mac & cheese meal.

15. Fruity Desserts with Moscato d’Asti

Finally, consider pairing fruity desserts with the sweet Moscato d’Asti wine.


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