How To Choose A Wine For Different Dishes

The history of wine and food going together has a long history.  In early days, wine was actually seen as a dietary staple.  It was more often drank than water, because of being more sanitary than the water supply.  Without giving it much thought, whatever wine was available were drunk with the food being served.

Pairing food and wine is a rather new phenomenon.  The main goal of the pairing will be that both wine and food interact with each other to enhance the enjoyment of a meal and the dining experience.

Which Wines go well with Which Foods?

  1. Light Dry White: Goes well with green and roasted vegetables and fish dishes.  Wines will be Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, etc.
  2. Sweet White: Serve with soft cheese, cured, smoked meat, bread and desserts.  Wines include Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Moscato, etc.
  3. Rich White: Pair with rich fish and white meat, also with roasted vegetables.  Rich white wines are Chardonnay, Oaked Whites and Viognier.
  4. Sparkling Wine: Celebrate with green vegetables, soft cheese, hard cheese, bread and fish.  Examples of sparkling wine are Champagne, Prosecco, etc.
  5. Light Red: Will go well with roasted vegetables, white meat and rich fish.  Light red wines include Pinot Noir, Grenache, Pinotage, etc.
  6. Medium Red: This wine will Go well with hard cheese, white and red meat, as well as with cured and smoked meat.  Examples of Medium Red wine are Merlot, Cab Franc, etc.
  7. Big Red: Serve with hard cheese, red meat and cured and smoked meat. Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel, etc. are all examples of big red wine.
  8. Dessert Wine: Serve with soft cheese, cured and smoked meat and desserts.  These wines include Port, Sherry, Late Harvest, etc.

There are foods that are difficult to pair with a specific wine.  You should always consider the weight and the style of the wine you pick to match whatever food is on the plate.  You do not always have to worry about the colour of the meat, for instance, white match with a light coloured wine and the opposite for red meat with red wine, think about the whole dish before pairing.

When you pair wine and food, the choices lay with you and what you feel goes well with the food you are serving.  Use the wine pairing charts as a pointer and then play with combinations until you find the ones you like best.