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Wine and Food Pairing

Wine and food pairings are very subjective to each persons' taste. Most people have heard the age-old adage "Red wine with red meat, white wine with white meat." For the most part, this is a good guideline but it should never be taken as a rule when it comes to food and wine pairings. Red wines, for instance, go great with smoked salmon and many people prefer a dry white wine with a juicy medium-rare steak. Personal preference really means a lot!

Perhaps, a better guideline to follow would be to match the quality of the food to the quality of the wine. Serve inexpensive wine the next time you have friends over for homemade-pizza and a more expensive wine when you are making a special dinner for a loved one.

Having said that, pairing the right type of food to go with your wine can really make a big difference. You can use the tables below to help you make a good choice.

If you are interested in having cheese with your wine then check out our wine and cheese pairings page. You may also try our wine selector to help you select a type of wine for almost any occasion.

Red Wines and Food Pairings
Red Wines Type Of Food
Cabernet Franc Steak, Poultry,
Desserts & Pasta
Cabernet Sauvignon Steak, Poultry, Pork &
Chianti Almost Everything
Merlot Almost Anything
(Except Fish)
Pinot Noir Steak, Pasta & Lamb
Sangiovese Steak & Poultry
Zinfandel Steak, Poultry & Pasta

Red wines almost always pair up very well with steak. Beyond that "rule", red wine and food pairing tends to vary a lot from one type of red wine to the next. The table above simply reflects what is most commonly seen as a good red wine and food match.

White Wines and Food Pairings
White Wines Types Of Food
Chardonnay Fish, Poultry,
Pork & Pasta
Gewurztraminer Steak, Pork,
Poultry & Pasta
Pinot Blanc Steak, Poultry,
Pork & Desserts
Pinot Gris Steak, Fish & Desserts
Riesling Steak, Fish, Pork,
Poultry, Pasta & Desserts
Sauvignon Blanc Fish, Poultry, Pork & Veal
Semillon Fish & Poultry

White wines do pair up well with white meats. This is more true of poultry than fish though. You should not discount having white wine with red meats because sometimes the combination is simply amazing and the combination of the two create a whole new flavor experience.

Dessert Wines and Food Pairings
Dessert Wines Types Of Food
Champagne &
Sparkling Wine
Fish, Desserts
& Pasta
Port Desserts
Sherry Steak, Desserts
& Lamb

Dessert wines, as you would figure, always pair up well with desserts but are often overlooked when serving food. Champagne and Sparkling Wines, for instance, are excellent with most type of fish.

You know what you like best. So, find a wine you like and try matching it up with a food you think will compliment the flavor best. Remember also, you will most likely just drink about one glass of wine during the entrée of a meal. Most of it will be consumed either before or after the meal. Getting a wine you like is the most important thing.

More Wine Basics