Whether you’re hosting a dinner party, politely bringing a bottle of wine to a gathering or pouring a glass to accompany dinner this evening- there’s a wine that pairs perfectly. One thing I love about wine is its potential to make every experience better. As you can tell, I’m most definitely a “wine-o” but I’m also a “foodie”, so how great is it that one compliments the other?! Honestly, the possibilities are endless, some pairings overlap and can be overwhelming. To take away some of the stress, especially when there’s pressure of pleasing a group of people, below I have shared some of my “go to” food and wine pairings!
This is more important than you think, this is the first bottle to be opened, this is the wine that sets the tone for the rest of the evening. Tip number one is that you always drink wine White to Red, lightest to heaviest. I have found, starting with Rose or Prosecco is best. What a great way to kickoff a celebration- with bubbles!
There are so many specific wines that pair well with specific cheeses. If the entirety of the event is to consume wine and cheese, I would follow the pairings below. However, if cheese is not going to be the focal point of the gathering and presented as an appetizer, I would strictly pair with light bodied wines and continue serving the evening from lightest to heaviest. Also, reference my Creating an MVP Charcuterie Board for the perfect additions!
Pinot Grigio: Salad
Sauvignon Blanc: Salad
One of the greatest tips to remember is that light bodied wines pair well with lean meals and full bodied wines compliment rich meals. Pro- Tip: try to pair a country’s cuisine with their wine, they were made in the same regions to compliment one another! Overall, tips worth mentioning: Reisling pairs well with spicy cuisine. Acidic wines pair well with lighter dishes- salmon, chicken, pork, butter or cream sauces. And Earthy foods like mushrooms pair well with earthy wines like Rosso or Brunello Montalcino
Reisling: Spicy Cuisine
Pinot Grigio: White Meat, Fish
Sauvignon Blanc: White Meat, Fish, Pesto
Chardonnay: Creamy/ Buttery Sauces, Seafood
Rose: Chicken, Pork, Lobster, Salmon, Tuna
Pinot Noir: Salmon, White Meat, Cured Meats, Garlic and Herbs, Mushrooms, Lamb, Pork
Cabernet Sauvignon: Red Meat
Merlot: Red Meat
Bordeaux: Red Meat
Sangiovese or Chianti: Tomato Sauce (even pizza!)
Syrah: Stew, Lamb
Malbec: Stew, Lamb, Pork
(Duck fat fries and Malbec… we might have stretched this one a little too far, but we weren’t willing to compromise one or the other 😂)
Reisling: Lighter Sweets
A cordial is a sweetened and distilled liquer to serve after dinner instead of desert (although I prefer in addition to). Basically a classy way of taking a shot.
These pairings have truly only scratched the surface, there are so many varietals to choose from. Don’t be afraid to head to your nearest wine store and ask the employees for recommendations- that’s what they’re there for and the LOVE it! But I guarantee- if you stick to the simple pairings shown above and remember the few pairing tips, any host (or your own guests) will appreciate the effort and contribution!
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