Your Helpful Guide to Wine and Food Pairing


Not sure how to do wine pairings? It can be really tricky, especially if you are a novice wine drinker. In pairing food and wine, you must be familiar with the nuances of the flavors and how to balance the tastes. A good food and wine match will bring out the goodness of the flavors and enhance the unique qualities of the wine and the food.

Red Wine with Red Meat, White Wine With White

The general principle “red wine with red meat, white wine with white meat,” works well in most instances. This is important to remember because a tannic red wine would only overpower, say, a delicate white fish. On the other hand, dry white wine, such as a fresh Viognier, would seem too light when paired with a joint of rare roast beef. While there are exceptions to this rule, they must be really tasty exceptions. For instance, roast chicken, which counts as a “white meat,” goes very well with a fruity red wine. Salmon and fresh tuna are also best served with red.

The Rule of Complements

This one is a bit contemporary than the above principle. To have a great food and wine match, look for a wine with flavor and aroma that brings to mind the trademark flavors of the served dish. For instance, you can pair a slightly sweet seafood, like lobster or crab, with a slightly sweet, rich white wine like a California Chardonnay.

The Rule of Contrasts

This one proves the principle that opposites do attract. This is almost works like the previous principle, but with a twist. It offers more room for experimentation, which can lead to great surprises. Try matching a lean white like a White Bordeaux against a rich, oily fish like bluefish or mackerel to see what I mean.

Remember that these three are guides only. You can try the standard rules first but as you gain more experience and expertise, you may decide to create your own wine and food pairing, that is, according to your delicate taste.