Wine Pairings for Every Plate
There’s no better complement to a delicious meal than a well-chosen bottle of wine! When choosing a bottle to serve, think about the whole meal — from appetizers to main courses to dessert.
Wine & Food Pairing Tips
Check out these simple pairing guidelines to find the perfect match for your favorite dishes.
- If it grows together, it goes together — think regionally by pairing food and wine from the same area.
- Balance is key. Match the weight of the wine with the weight of your food. Imagine your dish — is it:
- Heavy, mild or light? Choose a wine with the same flavor intensity. For example, a lemon chicken dish goes well with a light pinot grigio, while a merlot or pinot noir is better suited to barbecued chicken.
- Fatty or acidic? Wines with heavy tannins pair well with fatty dishes due to the bitter tannins in the wine cutting through any heavy fat. If your dish is acidic, choose a wine that’s more acidic. A crisp New Zealand sauvignon blanc is an excellent match for seafood with a citrusy-herb marinade, while a cabernet sauvignon pairs well with a grilled rib-eye steak.
- Sweet, salty or spicy? Choose a wine that’s sweeter than the dish. Port wine can stand up to a chocolate cake with its rich, sweet character. Light-bodied, fruit-forward wines are perfect for salty and spicy dishes, like an off-dry or sweet riesling to tame spicy, heavily seasoned dishes like Thai curry.
- Above all else, consider your guests' preferences to ensure a great time!
A Perfect Match
Looking for the perfect chocolate and wine pairings? We've got you covered.
Wine & Food Pairing Basics
Learn to be a wine-pairing connoisseur! Remember, a dish is more than its main ingredients. Think about the whole meal — from appetizers, first and second courses, sauces to dessert. Comparing a wine’s tasting components — levels of tannin, acid and residual sugar — to the various dishes being served ensures you’ll find the perfect pairing. But, above all, drink what you like. Because if you don't like the wine, you probably won't like the pairing.
Red wine tends to be more assertively flavored and bitter tasting, so pair it with richer foods and foods that contain fat, which softens the bitterness. Some ideas are aged cheese, red meat and game.
Pair white wines with light-intensity meats such as fish, poultry, pork, seafood and vegetables. Sweet white wines help bring out the salty and sweet flavors in a pairing.
Rosé wines are very versatile! Pair them with a turkey burger or beef burger, with salads or cheese boards, or as a nice balance to spicy foods.
Whether you choose champagne, prosecco or a sparkling wine, they offer a balance of dryness and bubbles to enhance a pairing. Enjoy a glass with soft cheese, charcuterie board, seafood and fruit-based desserts.
Dessert wines are a unique category. The intensity of the wine usually follows the intensity of the food. Sweeter foods deserve sweeter wines, while a crisp, high-acid wine pairs with an acidic or tart dish.