Match Food Wine: Handy Sortable Matching Charts for Perfect Pairs

There is a wealth of information about which wines best match various meals, dishes and food. Many recipes now come with a suggested list of wines to pair with the food. Often the waiter in a restaurant may help by suggesting a good match for one of their dishes. Of course, it is all a matter of taste.

Actually, it is more related to the aroma of the wine as being a liquid the volatile substances in the wine are released into the back of the mouth and nose and it is the olfactory senses that are more important than the taste of the wine on the tongue.

One of the problems with most of the charts of food and wine pairs is that they focus on the food and suggest matching wines.

Often a genuine wine lover may want to do it the other way: start with the wine and find a range of dishes that match its characteristics perfectly.

Similarly, a cook may make subtle adjustments to the dish to make sure the pair of food and wine complement each other.

This may involve adjusting the amount of spices or the thickness of the sauce and the texture of the food.

This article solves this problem because the charts of hundreds of wines and foods are sortable by clicking on the headings.

So, you can select the food and see the perfect matching wine, or you can sort the wines and see which food dishes go well with the wine.

White wine pairs well with grilled salmon
White wine pairs well with grilled salmon | Source
The progeny of a perfect food and wine pairing - Squid with Chenin Blanc
The progeny of a perfect food and wine pairing - Squid with Chenin Blanc | Source
Stuffed squid with a delightful light red wine
Stuffed squid with a delightful light red wine | Source
Red wine pairs well with chocolate
Red wine pairs well with chocolate | Source

Classifying Tastes to Match Food and Wine

Most of the choices about which wine goes best with what dish, are about finding complementary tastes and features. This is more about aligning 'apples with apples' and 'oranges with oranges' than finding some contrasting features poles apart in the wines or food that works for some strange reason. Doing the latter is much harder.

So pairing wines and food is mostly about matching complementary features. A heavy complex Shiraz goes well with roast meat because they are both 'heavy' and 'deep' and have a strong taste.

Most people can classify food into tastes groups such as sweet or savory, spicy or fruity, light or heavy in terms of texture and taste and the strength and subtleness of the tastes.

Fish and seafood has a delicate taste and a light texture which means that the perfect wine for seafood is often a delicate, light white wine that doesn't overpower the subtleties of the fish or seafood.

However a red wine may suit a heavy seafood chowder dish served with crusty sourdough bread or a heavy fish curry of stew. A spaghetti marinara or full bodied seafood Paella dish, is probably a tie with either a red or white wine being complementary.

One way to match the perfect match between food and wine is to classify wines into taste categories.

There are various articles that provide taste classification for wine in considerable detail.

For pairing purposes the following four taste and aroma class pairs and one texture or strength class pair is an excellent way to start.

  • Sweet or Dry
  • Acid or Rounded
  • Tannin, or Not
  • Fruity and Aromatic, or Not
  • Light or Full-Bodied

Sweetness or Dryness of Wine

A sweet taste generally makes the tongue tingle. You can also taste the residual sugar that has been deliberately left in the wine to make it taste sweet. Sweet wines also have an oily sensation on the tongue that lingers. Sweet wines are also thicker, more viscose and heavier that their lighter cousins. Most sweet wines are white, but there are excellent sweet red wines, with Rose wines somewhere in between.

Acidity or Roundness of Wine

Acidity in wine, other beverages and food created a tart and zesty taste. There may also be a tingling feeling within the mouth and on the tongue. Strong acid also makes start to grimace and contracts the muscles in the mouth. Acidity can be very refreshing and cleansing for the pallet and can invigorate the taste buds to boost the flavor of the food.

Tannin Taste in Wine

The tannin in wine is due to the presence of certain phenolic compounds, generally derived from the wood in which the wine is matured. Tannins add complexity, depth of taste and bitterness to the wine.

Most wine with string tannin are dry rather than sweet. There are some Phenolic compounds in the skins and seeds of wine grapes and so most red wines have some tannin derived from the grapes. Both red and white wines can get tannin from the wooden barrels in which they are matured and aged.

The aging of wine in oak barrels is designed to add tannin to the wine. The tannin taste is something like that of a strong brew of black tea that has a certain bitterness that is not unpleasant. Tannin also tends to make your tongue feel dry and it creates a bitter and dry feeling in your mouth that lingers. Tannins add strength to the taste or wines and makes such wines suitable for strong flavored foods such as roast beef or lamb and curries.

Fruity and Aromatic Wine Taste

Many wines, both red and white, are crafted to showcase the delights of the grapes themselves. They tend to be lighter styles of wine. Many of the tastes and aromas resemble fruits such as strawberries and blackberries. The fruity taste of red wine is usually similar to berries, for white wines it is lemon, lime or stone fruits such as peaches.

Some white wines are also described as having a grassy or herbal taste. These delicate flavors often complement lighter food dishes such as chicken, pork or seafood.

Light or Full-Bodied Wines

Food can be light and simple, or heavy and complex, and the same 'texture' and composition strength also applies to wines. Various styles of wine are described as light, medium or full-bodied wine.

This feature is partially die to the grapes used, the style of wine made from the grapes, the age of the wine, how it has been matured and the alcohol level. Heavier wines generally complement heavy styles of food and vice versa. There are exceptions of course with ports often being consumed with light fruit dishes. A high alcohol level will generally increase the thickness or viscosity of the wine. A wine, rich in alcohol will usually taste fuller in body than than a light-alcohol wine. It partially depends on the sweetness of the wine.

Charts of Food and Wine Pairs

Three charts are provided below:

  • Savory Food Wine Pairings - Red Wines
  • Savory Food Wine Pairings - White Wines
  • Fruits, Salad and Dessert Pairings - White Wines.

You can sort the tables by clicking on the headings to show:

  • Alphabetical listings of Foods with Wine Pairings
  • Alphabetical listings of Wines with Food Pairings

Perfect White Wine Pairing with Savory Dishes

(click column header to sort results)
Food  
White Wine  
Asian Spare Ribs
Gewurztraminer
Asian Turkey Curry
Chadonnay
Asian Turkey Curry
Gewurztraminer
Asian Turkey Curry
Pinot Gris
Asian Turkey Curry
Riesling
Baked Pork with Chilli
Chadonnay
Baked Pork with Chilli
Pinot Grigio
Baked Pork with Chilli
Pinot Gris
Bruscetta
Classic Dry White Wine
Bruscetta
Pinot Grigio
Bruscetta
Pinot Gris
Bruscetta
Riesling
Bruscetta
Sauvignon Blanc
Chicken with Mediterranean Herbs
Chadonnay
Chicken with Mediterranean Herbs
Unwooded Chardonnay
Chickpea & Spicy Chorizo Tapas
Chadonnay
Chickpea & Spicy Chorizo Tapas
Pinot Grigio
Chickpea & Spicy Chorizo Tapas
Pinot Gris
Chickpea & Spicy Chorizo Tapas
Sauvignon Blanc
Chickpea & Spicy Chorizo Tapas
Unwooded Chardonnay
Chorizo & Sweet Potato Risotto
Chadonnay
Chorizo & Sweet Potato Risotto
Pinot Grigio
Chorizo & Sweet Potato Risotto
Pinot Gris
Grilled Turkey Rolls
Chadonnay
Grilled Turkey Rolls
Pinot Gris
Grilled Turkey Rolls
Unwooded Chardonnay
Hot Chilli Prawns
Classic Dry White Wine
Hot Chilli Prawns
Gewurztraminer
Hot Chilli Prawns
Moscato
Hot Chilli Prawns
Pinot Grigio
Hot Chilli Prawns
Pinot Gris
Hot Chilli Prawns
Riesling
Hot Chilli Prawns
Sauvignon Blanc
Hot Chilli Prawns
Unwooded Chardonnay
Hot Chilli Prawns
Semillon
Indonesian Pork with Lemongrass
Chadonnay
Indonesian Pork with Lemongrass
Classic Dry White Wine
Indonesian Pork with Lemongrass
Moscato
Indonesian Pork with Lemongrass
Pinot Grigio
Indonesian Pork with Lemongrass
Pinot Gris
Indonesian Pork with Lemongrass
Riesling
Indonesian Pork with Lemongrass
Semillon
Indonesian Pork with Lemongrass
Vermentino
Mussels in White Wine Sauce
Chadonnay
Mussels in White Wine Sauce
Classic Dry White Wine
Mussels in White Wine Sauce
Pinot Grigio
Mussels in White Wine Sauce
Pinot Gris
Mussels in White Wine Sauce
Unwooded Chardonnay
Oven Baked Scallops in White Wine
Chadonnay
Oven Baked Scallops in White Wine
Riesling
Oven Baked Scallops in White Wine
Unwooded Chardonnay
Pasta al Pesto
Chadonnay
Pasta al Pesto
Pinot Grigio
Pasta al Pesto
Pinot Gris
Pasta al Pesto
Unwooded Chardonnay
Potato Soup
Chadonnay
Prawn and rocket pasta
Classic Dry White Wine
Prawn and rocket pasta
Sauvignon Blanc
Prawn and rocket pasta
Semillon
Prawn Curry
Classic Dry White Wine
Prawn Curry
Gewurztraminer
Prawn Curry
Riesling
Prawn Curry
Sauvignon Blanc
Prawn Curry
Semillon
Roasted Vegetable Pizza
Chadonnay
Sahib's Beef Vindaloo
Classic Dry White Wine
Sahib's Beef Vindaloo
Riesling
Spanish Lamb with Rosemary
Chadonnay
Spiced Pumpkin and Coconut Soup
Gewurztraminer
Spiced Pumpkin and Coconut Soup
Riesling
Spicy Chicken Korma
Chadonnay
Spicy Chicken Korma
Classic Dry White Wine
Spicy Chicken Korma
Moscato
Spicy Chicken Korma
Riesling
Spicy Chicken Korma
Unwooded Chardonnay
Spicy fish cakes
Classic Dry White Wine
Spicy fish cakes
Gewurztraminer
Spicy fish cakes
Pinot Grigio
Spicy fish cakes
Pinot Gris
Spicy fish cakes
Riesling
Spicy fish cakes
Semillon
Spicy Spaghetti Marinara
Chadonnay
Spicy Spaghetti Marinara
Unwooded Chardonnay
Spicy Spanish Paella
Chadonnay
Spicy Spanish Paella
Pinot Grigio
Tarragon Chicken
Chadonnay
Tarragon Chicken
Pinot Gris
Taylors Riesling Sorbet
Riesling
Thai BBQ Chicken
Chadonnay
Thai BBQ Chicken
Gewurztraminer
Thai BBQ Chicken
Riesling
Thai BBQ Chicken
Unwooded Chardonnay
Thai BBQ Chicken
Semillon
Thai Green Curry Chicken
Chadonnay
Thai Green Curry Chicken
Classic Dry White Wine
Thai Green Curry Chicken
Gewurztraminer
Thai Green Curry Chicken
Riesling
Thai Green Curry Chicken
Unwooded Chardonnay

Perfect White Wine Pairing with Fruit, Salad and Dessert Dishes

(click column header to sort results)
Food  
White Wine  
Apples, pears, peaches
Cabernet
Apples, pears, peaches
Chardonnay
Apples, pears, peaches, blueberries
Asti Spumante
Apricots
Chenin Blanc
Artichoke Salad
Classic Dry White Wine
Artichoke Salad
Pinot Grigio
Artichoke Salad
Pinot Gris
Artichoke Salad
Sauvignon Blanc
Artichoke Salad
Semillon
Bananas
Gew├╝rztraminer, Light Red Wines, Madeira. Merlot
Bananas
Sauternes , Sauvignon Blanc
Berries, cherries, apples
Pinot Noir
Blackberries
Zinfnadel (Red)
Blackberries, guava
Riesling, Sangiovese
Blackberries, melon, cherries
Muscat
Cheese
Chadonnay
Chicken Caesar Salad
Chadonnay
Chicken Caesar Salad
Pinot Grigio
Chicken Caesar Salad
Pinot Gris
Chicken Caesar Salad
Unwooded Chardonnay
Dried fruit
Tawny Port
Dried fruits, Figs
Chianti, Chinon
Easy Greek Salad
Classic Dry White Wine
Easy Greek Salad
Moscato
Easy Greek Salad
Pinot Grigio
Easy Greek Salad
Pinot Gris
Easy Greek Salad
Sauvignon Blanc
Easy Greek Salad
Semillon
Figs
Sherry, Syrah
Figs, melon, cherries
Port
Fruit
Wine
Grapes, peaches, lady apples, blueberries
Champagne
Grilled Fruit
Botryris Riesling
Grilled Fruit
Moscato
Grilled Fruit
Pinot Grigio
Grilled Fruit
Riesling
Italian Fruit Salad
Classic Dry White Wine
Italian Fruit Salad
Moscato
Italian Fruit Salad
Pinot Grigio
Italian Fruit Salad
Riesling
Italian Fruit Salad
Sauvignon Blanc
Italian Fruit Salad
Unwooded Chardonnay
Italian Fruit Salad
Semillon
Italian Pasta Salad
Chadonnay
Italian Pasta Salad
Pinot Grigio
Italian Pasta Salad
Pinot Gris
Kiwi Fruit
Dessert Wine, Fruity Red Wines
Mango, melon
Vouvray
Melons, mangoes, dried fruits
Barbaresco
Melons, mangoes, dried fruits
Barolo
Mixed Bean Salad
Classic Dry White Wine
Mixed Bean Salad
Riesling
Mixed Bean Salad
Sauvignon Blanc
Mixed Bean Salad
Semillon
Pears, Fuji Apples
White Zinfandel
Pears, plums, dried fruit
Bordeaux
Plums, berries, peaches
Beaujolais
Plums, blackberries
Tempranillo
Traditional Apple Pie
Botryris Riesling
Traditional Apple Pie
Gewurztraminer
Traditional Apple Pie
Unwooded Chardonnay
Warm Chicken & Avocado Salad
Chadonnay
Warm Chicken & Avocado Salad
Pinot Grigio
Warm Chicken & Avocado Salad
Pinot Gris
Warm Chicken & Avocado Salad
Unwooded Chardonnay

Perfect Red Wine Pairing with Various Dishes

(click column header to sort results)
Food  
Red Wine Variety  
Asian Spare Ribs
Shiraz
Asian Spare Ribs
Shiraz Cabernet
Asian Spare Ribs
Shiraz Viognier
BBQ Lamb Kebabs
Cabernet Merlot
BBQ Lamb Kebabs
Cabernet Sauvignon
Bean and Corn Burritos
Shiraz
Bean and Corn Burritos
Shiraz Viognier
Beef and Dumpling Casserole
Cabernet Sauvignon
Beef Burgers
Cabernet Merlot
Beef Burgers
Cabernet Sauvignon
Beef Burgers
Shiraz
Beef Burgers
Shiraz Cabernet
Beef Lasagne
Cabernet Merlot
Beef Lasagne
Cabernet Sauvignon
Beef Lasagne
Merlot
Beef Lasagne
Shiraz
Beef Lasagne
Shiraz Cabernet
Beef Lasagne
Shiraz Viognier
Beef Poached in Red Wine
Shiraz
Beef Poached in Red Wine
Shiraz Cabernet
Beef Poached in Red Wine
Shiraz Viognier
Chargrilled Steak with Peri Peri Sauce
Shiraz
Chargrilled Steak with Peri Peri Sauce
Shiraz Cabernet
Chargrilled Steak with Peri Peri Sauce
Shiraz Viognier
Cheese
Cabernet Sauvignon
Chickpea & Spicy Chorizo Tapas
Shiraz Viognier
Chickpea & Spicy Chorizo Tapas
Tempranillo
Chorizo & Sweet Potato Risotto
Tempranillo
Honey Soy Venison
Cabernet Sauvignon
Indian Beef Vindaloo
Merlot
Indonesian Pork with Lemongrass
Shiraz Cabernet
Lamb Curry
Cabernet Merlot
Lamb Curry
Merlot
Lamb Curry
Tempranillo
Lamb Shanks
Cabernet Merlot
Lamb Shanks
Cabernet Sauvignon
Minestrone Soup Italiano
Cabernet Merlot
Minestrone Soup Italiano
Merlot
Minestrone Soup Italiano
Tempranillo
Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil Stacks
Cabernet Merlot
Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil Stacks
Pinot Noir
Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil Stacks
Shiraz Viognier
Oregano Lamb Cutlets
Cabernet Merlot
Oregano Lamb Cutlets
Cabernet Sauvignon
Oriental Duck
Pinot Noir
Paprika Beef
Cabernet Sauvignon
Paprika Beef
Shiraz
Paprika Beef
Shiraz Viognier
Pasta al Amatriciana
Shiraz
Pasta al Amatriciana
Shiraz Cabernet
Pasta al Amatriciana
Shiraz Viognier
Pasta al Amatriciana
Tempranillo
Pasta Puttanesca
Cabernet Merlot
Pasta Puttanesca
Cabernet Sauvignon
Pasta Puttanesca
Tempranillo
Peking Duck
Pinot Noir
Peking Duck
Shiraz
Poached Pears in Red Wine
Merlot
Poached Pears in Red Wine
Shiraz
Ricotta and Veal Stuffed Tomatoes
Cabernet Merlot
Ricotta and Veal Stuffed Tomatoes
Merlot
Ricotta and Veal Stuffed Tomatoes
Pinot Noir
Roast Turkey
Merlot
Roast Turkey with potatoes, stuffed with apples & applesauces
Merlot
Roasted Vegetable Pizza
Cabernet Merlot
Roasted Vegetable Pizza
Shiraz
Roasted Vegetable Pizza
Shiraz Viognier
Roasted Vegetable Pizza
Tempranillo
Spanish Lamb with Rosemary
Cabernet Merlot
Spanish Lamb with Rosemary
Merlot
Spanish Lamb with Rosemary
Pinot Noir
Spanish Lamb with Rosemary
Tempranillo
Spicy Spaghetti Marinara
Shiraz
Spicy Spaghetti Marinara
Shiraz Viognier
Spicy Spaghetti Marinara
Tempranillo
Spicy Spanish Paella
Shiraz
Spicy Spanish Paella
Shiraz Cabernet
Spicy Spanish Paella
Shiraz Viognier
Spicy Spanish Paella
Tempranillo
Thai BBQ Chicken
Cabernet Merlot
Thai BBQ Chicken
Merlot
Thai BBQ Chicken
Pinot Noir
Traditional Eggplant Parmigiana
Shiraz
Traditional Eggplant Parmigiana
Shiraz Cabernet
Traditional Eggplant Parmigiana
Shiraz Viognier
Traditional Eggplant Parmigiana
Tempranillo
Traditional Irish Stew
Cabernet Merlot
Traditional Irish Stew
Cabernet Sauvignon
Traditional Irish Stew
Merlot
Traditional Irish Stew
Shiraz
Traditional Irish Stew
Shiraz Cabernet
Traditional Irish Stew
Shiraz Viognier
Traditional Mongolian Lamb
Cabernet Merlot
Traditional Mongolian Lamb
Cabernet Sauvignon
Veal Casserole
Merlot
Veal Casserole
Tempranillo

┬ę 2013 Dr. John Anderson

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Comments 2 comments

thewritingowl profile image

thewritingowl 3 years ago from Ireland

Great article. I have often wondered which wine I should be drinking with which meal. Although I don't like red that much and am a real Chardonnay person so I always have loads of choice of food and wine. Voted up.


Hendrika profile image

Hendrika 2 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

Thanks a lot of interesting stuff. I used to really think wine pairing is not important, a few times I got is just right by accident and now I am beginning to look into it. I am one of those that will be looking for the suitable food for the wines I enjoy most.

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    Dr. John Anderson (janderson99)754 Followers
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    John applies his scientific & research skills (PhD) to develop recipes, food guides, reviews of healthy whole foods, ingredients & cooking



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