Food and wine pairing guide         Matching wines with the proper foods.


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Food and Wine Pairing Guide

Pairing the perfect wine to meals can be challenging for hosts and hostesses. But with a basic understanding of combinations and some creativity of your own, it is actually hard to get it wrong.

The first thing to remember is that there really are no strict rules for pairing a particular wine with a type of food. If something tastes good, go with it -- and enjoy.

Here are a few pointers to get you started:

  1. Try to match a wine's sweetness, flavor, acidity, etc., with that of the food you are pairing it with. Your wine is meant to complement the taste of the dish, not overpower it.
  2. For the most part, the color of the wine goes with meat of the same color; white wines with white meats; red wines with red meat; however, this is a rule meant to be broken.
  3. Typically red wines should be served at slightly below room temperature (65 - 60) with the exception being light bodied red wines. These benefit from being chilled slightly. White wines can be served chilled (55 - 60) but not cold; this is to be left for Champagnes and sparkling wines.
  4. Try matching a wine with foods from the same region. For example, choose an Italian wine to go with an Italian dish.

Although you are well on your way to making your own combinations, check out the recommended food and wine combinations below (we've also included one listing for beer):

Foods for red wine

Red Wines

Cabernet Sauvignon

Dry    Medium to full bodied    Tannic

Red meat, BBQ, chicken, hamburgers, wild game, pork, duck, most cheeses


Dry    Full bodied

Roasted poultry, chicken, casseroles, lamb, venison, pasta, mild cheese, strong cheese

Pinot Noir

Dry    Light to medium bodied

Poultry, roast beef or pork, pork, veal, lamb, game, duck, grilled seafood, pasta, mild cheese


Dry    Full bodied

Poultry, beef, stews, chili, duck, lamb, goose, strong cheese


Dry    Medium bodied

Italian food, Spicy stews, chili, lamb, mexican food, pasta, pizza, strong cheese


Very    dry Medium to full bodied

Italian food, Pasta, pizza, chicken cacciatore, eggplant parmegiana


Dry    Light bodied

Appetizers, Thai food, kabobs, sandwiches, seafood, mild cheese

Foods for white wine

White Wines


Dry - Very dry    Full bodied

Poultry, ham, Chinese food, sandwiches, lobster, fish, seafood, shellfish, shrimp, pasta, vegetables, and mild cheese

Sauvignon Blanc

Dry    Light to medium bodied

Appetizers, salad, chicken, fish, seafood, shellfish, ham, mexican food, strong cheeses, desserts

Pinot Gris/Grigio

Dry    Light to medium bodied    Crisp

Sandwiches, fish, lobster, pizza, veal, poultry, mild cheese


Semi-sweet to Dry    Light bodied

Fruit salad, chicken, pork, fish, Chinese food, shellfish, sushi, sashimi, rabbit, mild and soft cheese, fruity desserts


Semi-dry    Light to medium bodied

Poultry, fish, Thai food, BBQ, mild cheese



Appetizers, fish, lobster, desserts


Indian food, very spicy foods, sushi, sashimi, pizza



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