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Pairing Food & Wine

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Pairing wine and food is an art, not a science.

As you start your journey into drinking wine, it will become apparent really fast that pairing food and wine is necessary in order to truly get the full experience of a wine and to complement a meal the best way possible. In general, we recommend drink and eat what you like. However, if you take some easy steps when choosing which food or wine to consume, your experience will be enhanced like no other.

Pairing Food & Wine Basics

Our goal is to help others learn how to enjoy wine the best way possible. A critical part of enjoying wine to the fullest is to pair it with the food you are eating to enhance both the food and the wine. Here are a list of things to consider when pairing wine with your food (or visa versa).

  1. Red wines tend to pair best with meats with strong flavors, usually red meats.
  2. White wines tend to pair best with lighter flavored meals and meat, like chicken & seafood.
  3. Try to pair the wine with the sauce on the meat, rather than the meat on dishes where there is a lot of sauce (like pasta)
  4. Meals with high acidity (like tomato based pasta sauce) should be paired with wines with high acidity.
  5. Fatty foods pair best with bitter wines (like a ribeye and a cabernet)
  6. Sweet wines go well with sweet food (like dessert wines)
  7. There are two ways to pair wine and food, congruent (wine & dish share flavors) and complementary (do not share flavors).

Congruent – this is typically a red wine that is paired with a dish. The flavors in the wine and the food are both elevated this way. But remember that the food should never overpower the wine, otherwise the wine will just taste bland and very underwhelming. 

Complementary – these combinations of wine and food share no flavors, but they do complement each other. A good example of this is a sweet wine paired with a spicy dish. The sweetness will tone down the spiciness and the flavors in both the wine and the dish will be enhanced.

Pair By Wine Type

Pair By Food Type

Food and wine are typically make a great pair. However, there are a few combinations that you should try to avoid. Some wines mixed with certain foods will negatively impact the flavor of the food or the wine (or both). Sometimes its easier to learn about what not to pair versus trying to come up with the perfect food and wine match. Click the image below to learn more.

More Popular Food & Wine Pairings