Matching food and wine should be fun and not an experience creating unnecessary grey hairs. We’ve listed a few "rules of thumb" to help get you started.
Remember — the most important thing is to have fun and not be afraid to experiment.
Simple suggestions for the perfect match:
- Think — light, medium, and full bodied.
- Body is the most important consideration when matching food and wine.
- Serve delicate foods with lighter bodied wines — like oysters with Chablis.
- Try robust foods with full bodied wines — like barbequed steak with Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Sauces are often more powerful than the food itself so they are an important consideration when choosing a wine. A light curry sauce requires a wine lighter in body than a rich tomato and meat sauce.
- A wine high in tannin is best matched with meat, like beef steak or lamb chops.
- When serving wine with sweet food (dessert) be sure the wine is sweeter than the food. Otherwise the wine will taste acidic.
- Salty foods are best paired with a slightly sweet, fruity wine — like baked ham and German Riesling.
- Hot and spicy foods require a wine low in alcohol and slightly sweet — like Thai food with Champagne or German Riesling.
- Sparkling wines go with many foods, can be served with lighter dishes or used to cleanse the palate between courses.
- Dry sherries, served chilled, can accompany clear soups, light fish dishes or even smoked salmon.
- Ports are wonderful with cheese. A classic combination is port and stilton cheese.
More Food For Thought
These are just the tip of the iceberg. Try them or create your own!
- Chablis — oysters, mussels
- Oaked Chardonnay — lobster, smoked or barbequed salmon, chicken with bechamel sauce
- Chenin Blanc — spanokopita, tabouli, salad nicoise
- Gerwurztaminer — smoked salmon, Thai food
- Muscat — melon and fresh strawberries
- Pinot Blanc — salad, sole fillet with lemon
- Pinot Gris/Grigio — quiche lorraine, fettuccini alfredo
- Riesling — Chinese food, baked salmon
- Sancerre — cheese fondue
- Sauvignon Blanc — prawns, asparagus, goat cheese, clams, ratatouille, calamari
- Semillon — spinach salad, foie gras
- Tokay — creme brulee
- Burgundy — ham steak, pheasant, pork, fillet mignon duck
- Cabernet Sauvignon — rack of lamb, barbequed steak, goose, spareribs
- Chateauneuf du Pape — blue cheese, venison, buffalo burgers
- Chianti — minestrone soup, tomato-based pasta, veal parmigiana
- Cotes du Rhone — lamb kebab, ratatouille
- Malbec — barbequed hamburgers, beef ribs, roast beef
- Merlot — roasted chicken, turkey
- Nebbiolo — roast duck, goose, osso bucco
- Pinot Noir — barbequed salmon, roasted pheasant, turkey, moussaka, salads
- Rioja — roasted chicken, lamb with rosemary, paella
- Shiraz — sirloin steak, venison
- Zinfandel — venison, lamb, steak, hamburgers
Treat your special someone to a surprise gift selection on a regular basis. Give your friends, family or clients an opportunity to sit back, relax, sip and enjoy