When you marry the proper wine with the right cuisine, you greatly enhance the overall dining experience. The cuisine will physically change the wine and bring out flavors that may not otherwise be apparent. Sometimes… magic happens! Below you will find a basic wine & food pairing guide. It’s not definitive, and in the end, your enjoyment of a specific type of wine, overrides the “proper” pairing.
Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with beef, lamb and goose, especially when cooked with herbs, and is great when paired with grilled steak. Cabernet is also a great match for brie, cheddar cheese and chocolate.
Chianti pairs well with well-seasoned foods, and is the classic wine to drink with spaghetti and meat sauce, or most Italian dishes, including pizza.
Malbec is adaptable enough to stand up to spicy Mexican, Cajun, Indian or Italian fare (especially with tomato-based sauces). Chianti also complements grilled meats, barbecue, chili and sausage.
Merlot works well with soft or hard cheeses, pastas, roast chicken, grilled or roasted meats, vegetarian dishes, casseroles, and salads. Merlot is also great with steak, burgers and BBQ.
Pinot Noir is an extremely versatile red that pairs will with pizza, beef, lamb, ham and pork. It will complement creamy sauces, spicy seasonings, as well as chicken and seafood (except for shellfish).
Zinfandel and Primitivo go well with pizza, burgers, and steaks. They are hearty enough to match up cuisine cooked with thick red sauces.
Chardonnay pairs well with roast chicken, pasta with cream sauce, pork, Thai food, and rich seafood, such as lobster, salmon, or sea bass.
Gewurztraminer is terrific with Thai food, and its spicy nature offsets the tangy flavors of ginger and lime in Asian fare. It can also be a good fit for heartier salads with cheeses, walnuts, etc.
Moscato is enjoyable as an aperitif or with fruit, light cheeses, sorbets (strawberry, peach, or apple), and other light desserts.
Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris is a good choice with lighter seafood dishes and chicken, or simply with cheese and crackers.
Riesling is high in acidity, which allows the wine to handle hearty sauces, and high end meats, as well as lighter fare such as appetizers.
Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect match for seafood, especially shellfish. It’s also a good fit with vegetable dishes and most salads.
Torrontes can be enjoyed either by itself, or with smoked meats, mild to medium strong cheeses, and seafood. It’s also an ideal partner for spicy foods.