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How to Pair Wine and Food

How to Pair Wine and Food

While technically you could just drink any bottle of wine with whatever you are eating, there are a few simple rules to follow to help enhance your culinary experience and bring out the best flavours in your wine! Take a look at our infographic for a basic guide to pairing different types of wine and food, as well as our more specific recommendations below. 

As the infographic shows, most wine types pair well with cheese, which is why wine and cheese is such a well-known combination. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a glass to match with a sweet treat, there are fewer options available; only sweet or dessert wines! As a simple rule, it can be seen that seafood and white meat work best with lighter white and red wines, while red meat can stand to be paired with bolder sips. This goes hand in hand with the rule regarding matching delicate dishes with delicate wines and bold meals with fuller-flavoured wines, so that one does not overpower the other. This means that hot and spicy dishes, such as curry, could be paired with a bolder wine like Shiraz.

There are two ways to choose a pairing; either mirror the flavours or contrast them. When doing this, it is best to consider the flavours in the sauce used in a dish rather than the main feature of the dish. For example, a smokier wine, such as an oaky Chardonnay will pair beautifully with dishes that use smoky cheese. Likewise, pairing a creamier glass of Chardonnay with lobster would also form a mirrored pair, as they are both rich, creamy and delicious! Conversely, pairing a creamy sauce or lobster with a wine that has a bit of zest to it like Sauvignon Blanc, or a glass of bubbly for a fresher taste, would cause an interesting and complex contrast.


Some More Pairing Ideas

  • Dishes using lots of fresh vegetables and herbs work well citrusy wines and light whites such as Albariño.

  • Spicy dishes or seasoned red meats taste great with Syrah or Cabernet Franc.

  • Lighter red wines, such as Pinot Noir, should be matched up with the earthy tones of mushroom-based dishes.

  • Juicy bites of red meat, such as chops or steaks, need an equally bold wine, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon.

  • Light fish dishes have their flavours enhanced when partnered with a wine that mirrors its delicate nature, like a glass of Pinot Grigio.

  • Champagne and cava, like most dry sparkling wines, have a hint of sweetness, which can be a complimentary taste to go alongside saltier foods.

  • As rosé wine presents the best of both worlds, with the fruitiness of red and acidity of white, it makes a great choice for cheese-heavy nibbles.

  • Sour or tart tasting foods, including grapefruit, lemon, Greek yoghurt or pickle can be enjoyed alongside a tangier wine like Sauvignon Blanc.

  • Barbequed dishes have a distinctive flavour, especially when eaten with a sweet, smoky sauce with a kick of spice. A bold wine is needed to match these bold flavours, so a full-bodied Shiraz or Malbec works best.


If you want to start pairing your food with wine and need a place to store all of your newly bought bottles, here at Tanglewood Wine, we offer custom built wine cellars to fit all your wine-related needs! 

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