Tips on Pairing Wine with Food

You get the best of both worlds with wine-food pairings. The two tastes combine to provide your taste buds with an impeccable treat. What the pairing should be depends on your pallet and the type of wine you prefer. There is no fixed rule regarding which wine should be paired with a particular food item. However, it has been found that certain types of wines go quite well with specific groups of food. You will find that the taste of both the wine and food is significantly enhanced if the perfect matching is done.

In earlier times, the only choices that people had were red and white wine. Thus, the pairing was quite easy. Red wine was suitable for beef, while white wine paired better with chicken or fish. However, things have drastically changed, and the food-wine pairings have more options, which make it confusing for some.

Currently, wines are available in variable flavors and textures. Thus, it is hard to determine which wine-food match will be perfect and offer an impeccable taste. Usually, it is suitable to opt for a wine that has flavors, weight and aromas similar to your meal. Striking the right balance is integral while pairing. The trick is to ensure that the intensity of flavors in the food gels well with the body of the wine. For instance, a light wine would not pair well with a heavy meal and vice versa.

Some tips to help get the perfect pairing

It takes some time to perfect the skill of wine-food pairing. You might find the first couple of tries to live up to expectations. However, there is a lot more waiting for you. We will elaborate on some tips that will come to your assistance when you endeavor to pair wine with food.

The pricing

This is perhaps one of the important principles that you should abide by. If you are having an expensive meal, pair it with a pricey wine. For instance, a simple sandwich does not have to be accompanied by a costly glass of wine. Similarly, if you are enjoying a delicate and costly roast, you would want the best available wine to be paired with it.

The weight

The weight of food and wine that you pair together should be similar. Thus, if you are having a delicate wine, you would want an equally fine meal with it. The taste of a delicate wine would be completely washed out if you have it with a dish with bold flavors. Big-flavored wines work better with hot and spicy flavors while the delicate wines should be paired with the simple recipes.

Your preference

The pairing needs to be dictated by your pallet. What do you want; the pairing to complement each other or to contrast? For instance, you can have a creamy meal with a glass of Chardonnay to get the ultimate experience. However, you can also decide to go completely opposite and pair the creamy lobster with a glass of champagne. The results you expect should influence the pairing you select.

A flexible wine

It is a good idea to pay heed to the flexibility of your wine. For instance, the highly favorite Chardonnay is not quite supple with food owing to its hard taste. Something like Sauvignon Blanc will prove to be perfect. It has a high acidity which would compel you to dig into your food, and you would yearn for a sip of the drink after taking a bite of your food, offering you a well-balanced experience.

The fruit to fruit pairing

You will find that fruit-driven wines work great with dishes that have a fruit component to them. The aromas will drive your senses to the exhilaration, and the combined taste will enthrall your taste buds.

Salt and acidity

It is found that the acidity in wine offers quite a different taste to the saltiness of food. Thus, you will profoundly enjoy a glass of champagne with smoked salmon. Similarly, dishes with soy sauce go well with high-acid wines.

At the same time, the saltiness can also be used to strike a balance with something sweet. For instance, you can try a dish with soy sauce with a glass of American Riesling. The contrasting taste will surely give you a different kind of experience.

Pairing meat and wine for the ultimate experience

A simple meal can get an extraordinary touch if paired with the right wine. Are you worried that your meat might feel a little too bland? Wine-food pairing is your answer. The wine suitable for your meat dinner depends on the sauce you use and the leanness of the cut of meat. Let us help you out a bit.

Type of meat

The most suitable wine


White wine- Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc




Red wines (medium-bodied)- Malbec or Zinfandel


Red wines- California Cabernet Sauvignon


Robust red wines- red Bordeaux

Beef-based stew

Rich wine- Spanish Rioja or California Pinot Noir

Linear cut meat

Medium red wine- Sangiovese

Fatty meat

Bold red wines- Napa Cabernet or Barolo


Medium-bodied red wine- cru c lassé French Bordeaux and California Cabernet Sauvignon


Delicate wines- Spanish Rioja, Merlot and California Zinfandel


Low-tannin white or red wine

Baked ham

Fruity California Merlot

Roast pork

Red Burgundy or California Pinot Noir

It is all about getting the combination right. You do not want either taste to overpower the other. Instead, the two should combine to provide you with a fulfilling experience. The taste and experience of meat dishes can be significantly enhanced via the right wine. You are missing out on quite a bit if you do not try this out.

Final words

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the result you want and the taste that appeals to you. Experiment with different wines and food items to find out which pairing works best for you. You will eventually get it right. The wine food pairing undoubtedly offers a unique experience. Give yourself some time to experience it.

David Aschenbrener