If you enjoy a glass of wine with your meals but are never quite sure what wine goes with the food you’re eating, my Food and Wine Pairing Guide will help you make the right choices and find the perfect match. But that being said, taste is subjective, and if you enjoy a good glass of wine with your meals it should always be what you like to drink, not what someone tells you, you should drink.
Wine is a complex and fascinating beverage that has been enjoyed around the world for centuries. There is a vast array of wines with unique flavor profiles, and the same wine grown in a different country or even on a different hill in the same vineyard can have an entirely different flavor.
The type of grape used in winemaking as well as the region the grapes are grown in, offers distinctive characteristics to the wine. With so many choices, it’s hard to know what to pair with your meals, which is why I decided to write my Food and Wine Pairing Guide because the right wine can elevate your dining experience.
While these guidelines are a good starting point. Do not be afraid to experiment with distinctive styles, regions, and varietals. The goal is to find combinations that bring out the best in the food and wine you have chosen. The possibilities are endless, so have fun and enjoy the journey of discovering the best wines for the foods you enjoy eating. Because great food deserves great wines.
Ask Chef Ryan
Red Wine has been around for centuries and has captivated wine enthusiasts with its rich and diverse flavors. From a bold and robust Cabernet Sauvignon to a silky Pinot Noir, red wine has a variety of characteristics and flavor profiles to choose from that will take your taste buds on a journey when paired with your favorite meal.
Typical Taste: Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied, robust red wine with bold tannins and a long finish. Featuring rich notes of black cherry, black currant, baking spices, and cedar. You’ll find it often used when cooking red meat and for sauces and reductions.
My food and wine pairing guide says Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with red meat, lamb, cheese, and dark chocolate. These recipes will go well with cabernet sauvignon: Garlic Herb Rack of Lamb, Classic Meatloaf, and Bolognese Sauce.
Typical Taste: Merlot is a medium-bodied, velvety red wine that is low in tannins. Offering fruity notes of black cherry, plums, and herbs such as clove and vanilla.
Merlot pairs well with red meat, chicken (grilled or roasted), cheese, berries, and roasted vegetables. These recipes pair well with Merlot: Pan Seared Duck Breast, Chicken Cacciatore, Chai Marinated Chicken with Roasted Vegetables.
Typical Taste: Pinot Noir is a light-bodied red wine with a silky low tannin finish. Featuring fresh notes of cherries and red fruit with earthy tones of beet, rhubarb, or mushroom.
My food and wine pairing guide says Pinot Noir pairs well with red meat, roasted chicken, roast turkey, pork, barbecued meats, cheese, and charcuterie. These recipes pair well with Pinot Noir: Dry Brine Roast Turkey, Pan Seared Halibut, and Pork Osso Bucco.
Typical Taste: Malbec is a full-bodied, fruity red wine with moderate tannins. Malbec offers notes of sweet fruit flavors such as plum, blackberry, and black cherries, with notes of cocoa and coffee offering a smoky finish.
Malbec pairs well with red meat (steak and burgers), roasted and grilled chicken, mushrooms, and cheese. Avoid pairing with lighter-flavored dishes. These recipes pair well with Malbec: Steak Au Poivre, Baked Chicken Quarters, and Oven Baked Beef Brisket.
Typical Taste: Syrah is a bold, full-bodied red wine with firm tannins. Offering rich notes of dark fruit flavors such as blueberry, with hints of black olives and a smoky pepper finish.
Typical Taste: Chianti is a tarty medium-bodied bold red wine high in tannins. Offering earthy and rustic aromas with notes of fruit and herbs. Chianti Classico is produced in a specific region in Tuscany with specific regulations. The Black Rooster (The Gallo Nero) is the seal of approval as a true Chianti Classico.
My food and wine pairing guide says Chianti Classico pairs well with red meat, pasta with red sauce and meat sauces, pizza, cheese, and charcuterie.
White Wine is a versatile, refreshing beverage that offers a wide spectrum of flavors and styles. From a crisp and zesty Sauvignons Blanc to a rich and buttery Chardonnay, there is sure to be a wine to help you take your meal to the next level. Finding the best wine pairing will take the harmony of your meal to new heights.
White wines have a high acidity compared to red wines, which makes them pair well with spicy foods and cheese.
Typical Taste: Sauvignon Blanc is a citrusy, light to medium-bodied white wine that lacks tannins. This wine typically has a tart taste of citrus fruit and melon flavors with herbal and grassy notes.
Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with fish, seafood, and poultry dishes with green herbs & vegetables, goat cheese, and salads with a tangy vinaigrette. These recipes pair well with Sauvignon Blanc: Fish Tacos, Blackened Chicken Salad, and Crabcakes.
Pinot Grigio / Pinot Gris
Typical Taste: Pinot Grigio (pinot gris) are light-bodied crisp, dry white wines that lack tannins. It offers delicate notes of citrus fruit and tree fruit, as well as aromatic floral notes.
Pinot Grigio pairs well with Light Pasta Dishes, Seafood, Grilled Vegetables, White Fish, Sushi, and Risotto. These recipes pair well with Pinot Grigio: Creamy Mushroom Risotto, Classic Shrimp Scampi, and Cacio e Pepe.
Typical taste: Chardonnay is a medium-bodied white wine that is low in tannins. It offers citrus and melon flavors with a buttery finish. While an Oaked Chardonnay aged in barrels adds a buttery, creamy finish with hints of vanilla. When using Chardonnay to cook with, I suggest using an unoaked chardonnay so the flavor doesn’t overwhelm the dish.
Unoaked Chardonnay pairs well with cheese, citrus-flavored dishes, and seafood.
My food and wine pairing guide says Chardonnay pairs well with cheese, poultry, seafood, salmon, and grilled vegetables. These recipes pair well with Chardonnay: Sticky Chicken Wings, Grilled Salmon, and Lobster Mac and Cheese.
Typical taste: Moscato is a light-bodied sweet white wine that lacks tannins. Some Moscato’s can be fizzy as they are slightly carbonated. Offering tasting notes of nectarine, peach, and orange. As well as aromatic floral notes.
Moscato pairs well with poultry, barbecued pork, seafood, white fish, cheese, fruit, charcuterie, and desserts.
Did you know that Rose wines derive their name from the French word for “Pink”? They have a distinctive pale pink color that is balanced between the freshness of white wines and the fruitiness of red wines. Offering a pleasant bouquet of aromas such as strawberries, cherries, and floral notes. They offer a wide variety of options, from bone dry to sweet, that provide a refreshing crisp taste. This food and wine pairing guide will help you find the perfect match.
Typical taste: Rose wine is a light-bodied pink wine that lacks tannins. Rose wine can range from sweet to dry. Rose offers fruity and fresh notes of flowers, red fruit, citrus, and melon. With hints of celery and rhubarb.
My food and wine pairing guide says Rose pairs well with barbecued meat, sushi, cream sauces, spicy foods, grilled white fish, and seafood.
Typical taste: White Zinfandel is a light-bodied, crisp, and sweet pink wine that lacks tannins. It offers notes of red fruit, citrus, and flower aromatics.
White Zinfandel pairs well with brunch, salads, cream sauces, barbecued meats, seafood, cheese, and white fish.
Typical taste: Moscato Rose is a light-bodied semi-sweet pink wine lacking tannins. It offers notes of red fruit, tree fruit, and melon, with sweet aromatics of lavender and honey.
My food and wine pairing guide says Moscato Rose pairs well with cheese, poultry, fish, lamb, charcuterie, and salads.
Typical taste: Sparkling Rose is a fizzy light bodied pink sparkling wine that lacks tannins. Its flavor profile can vary from sweet to dry depending on the grape variety. Sparkling rose offers refreshing hints of red fruit, white flowers, and citrus.
Sparkling Rose pairs well with barbecued meats, desserts, cheese, chocolate, salmon, grilled white fish, and charcuterie. These recipes pair well with Sparkling Rose: Mediterranean Style Salmon, Blackened Red Snapper, and Oven Baked Baby Back Ribs.
Finding the right wine that compliments your favorite spicy dish, pasta dish, or sweet food will only make your dining experience that much better. The variety of flavor profiles of the wine and that match the flavors of the foods you enjoy will always be a personal preference, my Food and Wine Pairing Guide will help make your next dining experience more pleasurable by helping you find the perfect pairing.
If you enjoy a good beer with your meals, make sure to check out my Food and Beer Pairing Guide.