Our detailed food and wine matching guide helps you decide which wines to pair with a wide variety of meat, poultry, fish vegetarian dishes as well as desserts and cheese.
The matching of food and wine is a matter of personal taste. There are no hard and fast rules, but just remember it is easiest to think of wine as a sauce and match the strength of flavours and weight of the dish with the wine.
Consider the style of the dish.
This is the simplest of all rules and that’s the reason we’ve listed it at the top. A delicious sandwich of roast beef leftovers doesn’t need a pricey Bordeaux blend to accompany it, a juicy, fruit-driven red under €10 is the right fit.
On the contrary an expensive piece of cut of the meat will require a more complex wine, maybe a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon that’s been resting in bottle for a few years.
A delicate Pinot Noir from Burgundy will taste like water as soon as you pair it with spicy Asian dishes. Dishes that are bold, aromatic, and / or have hot-spicy flavor profile are perfectly cut out for wines that are bold, spicy, and highly flavoured.
An Australian Shiraz from Barossa will have the perfect structure to match bold dishes.
Certain dishes are suited to be paired with multiple wines. Chardonnay and lobster in butter or cream sauce is a perfect example of congruent pairings. Both have a rich opulent character that compliments each other.
However complementary or contrasting pairings can also exist. The lobster can be paired with a young Champagne, the crisp, zesty character will cut through the richness of the lobster, refreshing the palate.
Often than not when dinning out with family and friends, one tends to order a multitude of different dishes that makes it seemingly impossible to pair the perfect wine. Surprisingly Chardonnay is one of the least flexible wines to pair.
High Acid such as Sauvignon Blancs, Albarino, Chianti and Pinot Noir can be a good all-rounder. Wines with high acidity leave you wanting to take a bite of food, and after taking a bite of food, you’ll want a sip of wine.
Consider the basic flavor combinations;
Saltines are a great contrast to acidity. Think Parmeggiano cheese and Chianti or Muscadet and Oysters.
Think about one of the classic pairings; Port with Stilton cheese.
Animal fats, creams, and butter will need a high powered wine to withstand the richness coming from the dish.
Highly structured wines, that sometimes maybe tiring to drink on their own will pair beautifully with grilled meats, rich stews, and ragus.
Dishes can contain an element of fruit that will require a wine that has enough of an aromatic-fruity kick to take on the dish, otherwise, the wine will taste austere, dry, and plain old boring. Consider wines made from Gewürztraminer, Viognier, off-dry Rieslings, Muscat.
Ultimately have fun with pairings. Experiment! Be bold and share your pairings with us.