Which Wine Goes With What Food?

Wine and Food Pairings

1. Look at the color 2. Smell the wine 3. Taste the Wine - No. 3 is the biggy.
1. Look at the color 2. Smell the wine 3. Taste the Wine - No. 3 is the biggy.
Food and Wine Pairing
Food and Wine Pairing
Champagne and Appetizers
Champagne and Appetizers
A Wine Tasting
A Wine Tasting
Champagne and Snacks
Champagne and Snacks

Wine and Food

Cast your vote for Which Wine Goes with What Food


Food and Wine Pairings


My favorite food and wine combination is Chateau Haut Brion with a rack of lamb. Chateau Latour wth filet of beef Richelieu is a close second. However that was long ago when I could afford good French wine. Today, I occasionally still have a bottle of California cabernet sauvignon with a grilled rib eye steak.


Which Wine Goes with What Food?


When people first become interested in drinking wine, they often wonder which wine to drink with what food. I have been drinking wines from all over the world for close to 50 years and it is still not easy for me to answer that question. This is not because there aren’t a lot of traditional wine and food pairings, but rather because which wine a person prefers is a very personal thing and often changes over time.


For example, novice wine drinkers usually favor white wines over red and slightly sweet, fruity wines over drier more tannic ones. Gradually over the years they tend to prefer drier wines and they learn to appreciate red wines more and more.


For example, when I started drinking wine, I liked Beaujolais and I thought that Bordeaux wines were a little too dry for my taste. That quickly changed so that now I feel just the opposite and I rarely drink Beaujolais anymore, although I don’t dislike it. One of my biggest complaints with California and Australian red wines is that they are often too sweet for my taste.


That is because the grapes get too much sun there and over ripen leaving too much residual sugar. If you look at their labels carefully, you will see that they contain more than 13 percent alcohol, sometimes even 14 percent, which is too high.


The point that I am trying to make is that if you like a particular wine with a certain food, ignore what anyone else tells you – just continue to drink it. In Germany it is not that unusual for someone to drink an auslese, which is a sweet white wine, with meat although that is gradually changing. In parts of Italy they drink red wine with almost anything. Having said this let me give you a list of commonly accepted guidelines.


1. Drink red wine with meat and white wine with fish and seafood. There are plenty of exceptions. There are classic fish dishes that are made with red wine and which you would certainly drink red wine with. Chicken and pork dishes are frequently made with white wine and should be served with white wine.


2. This leads to a second rule which says that if you prepare a dish with a particular wine, you should serve the same or a sinilar wine with the meal Good idea, but sometimes it is interesting to switch and serve a different wine for contrast.


3. Dry red wines go best with simple meat dishes like steaks, chops and roasts. More highly seasoned stews and casseroles require fruitier wines like merlot, zinfandel and syrah or shiraz as it is called in Australia.


4. White wines go well with fish, seafood, and some chicken and pork dishes. With chicken and pork you could also serve lighter red wines. Serve the drier white wines like chardonnay, pinot blanc or pinot grigio with the less seasoned dishes and the fruitier, sweeter wines like riesling, sylvaner, gewurtztraminer etc., with more highly seasoned foods.


5. Sweet white wines like sauternes, tokays, beerenausleses and trockenbeerenausleses go best with desserts or by themselves. Drinking some of these wines is almost like eating a dessert and you can serve them with coffee or some cheese or a few nuts to munch on.


6. Sweet red wines like vintage port or the sweeter sherries or madieras are also best by themselves with some cheese or a cup of good coffee.


7. The wines from a particular country or region are best suited to the food from that same region. For example, if you are serving food from Italy, it makes sense to serve wine from the same area with it or at least a similar wine. Sometimes that is very difficult to do. I publish a lot of Hungarian recipes, but it is almost impossible in many areas of the country to find good Hungarian wines (although they do make them). I try to recommend similar wines from California made with similar grape varieties if possible.


8. When entertaining, serve a wine that you like and have drunk before. That way, even if your guests don’t like the wine, at least someone will.


9. If you are interested in learning more about wine and food pairings, open two different wines at dinner and see which one you like best.


10. Champagne is best served with appetizers such as caviar, fois gras and shrimp cocktails. I once made the mistake of serving champagne with Thanksgiving dinner. The bubbles filled everyone up so much that they couldn’t eat. Champagne is best left for celebrating and not for meals except of course for appetizers.


One last tip. Leftover white wines can be recorked, refrigerated and served again over the next few days. Red wines, however, do not store well once they are opened, so whenever possible try to finish the bottle once you have opened it.


Finally, let me present you with a list of five different recipes that I have previously published. For each one I will first list the wine that I would drink with it if money were no object and then I will list the wine that I would recommend on a beer budget.

1. Hearty Beef Stew

2. Swiss Steak and Mashed Potatoes

3. Corned Beef and Cabbage

4. Two Easy Chicken Recipes

5. Baked Ham and Scalloped Potatoes



My Mother's Cooking - Recipe
Wine Pairing if Cost is No Object
Wine Pairing if You Are On a Beer Budget
Estate bottled Hermitage or Cote Rotie (French Rhone wines)
Cote du Rhone from France, Spanna from Italy, Syrah from California or Shiraz from Australia
Chateau Lynch Bages or Leoville Las Cases (Bordeaux wines from the Medoc)
Inexpensive Cabernet Sauvignon from California
Chateau Cheval Blanc (Bordeaux wine from St Emilion)
Inexpensive Cabernet Sauvignon from California
Chianti Classico or Barbera or Dolcetto from Northern Italy
California Pinot Noir for the chicken legs and Pinot Grigio for the breasts
Chambertin or Clos du Vougot (French burgundies) or a Mosel Kabinet wine if you prefer white
Inexpensive Pinot Noir from California or Italy or a dry Resling or Pinot Grigio

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Comments 7 comments

AnesaK profile image

AnesaK 5 years ago from USA

Great advice- I really enjoyed reading this hub!

rjsadowski profile image

rjsadowski 5 years ago Author

Thanks for your comment.

anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

So helpful to me. I will bookmark this for future use. Easy to understand. Voting this a useful hub.

rjsadowski profile image

rjsadowski 5 years ago Author

Thanks. My intention was to simplify things as much as possible.

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Sueswan 5 years ago

Hi rjsadowski

Your knowledge on food and wine is very impressive.

I am a port lover myself which was passed down by my late father.

I think the perfect match is Taylor's LBV Port with Stilton cheese.

I have visited Taylor's Quinta Vargellis. A trip that I will always remember.

Voted up and awesome.


rjsadowski profile image

rjsadowski 5 years ago Author

I agree with you. Taylor vintage port and stilton would be an excellent combination

Vicky 2 years ago

That's really thinnikg out of the box. Thanks!

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