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Wine Grape and Food Pairings

(Click here to alternately see pairing foods to wines.)

White Wines

Chardonnay (White Burgundy/Chablis): Wine has notes of lemon, pear, pineapple, vanilla, and oak making it engaging with seafood, fish, chicken, and egg dishes.

Chenin Blanc: Similar flavors found in Chardonnay, thus the wine works best with appetizers, fish, chicken, Asian or Indian cuisines, and soft cheeses like brie.

Gewürztraminer: Wine is spicy and it captures the essences of Asian and Indian foods, as well as ham. (Champagne/sparkling wine is, however, the best accompaniment for these foods.)

Muscat (sweet wine): Lots of acid and pear notes allowing foie gras, dessert, and fruit to pair well.

Pinot Blanc: Apple and pear tones making it right for fish, chicken, egg dishes, and brunch.

Pinot Grigio: The best of them have medium weight, with floral aromas accompanied by pear and apple and soft spice, making it ideal as an apéritif and with any grilled or baked fish or chicken

Pinot Gris: Hint of spritz and soft sweetness make it right for Asian and Indian foods.

Riesling: Apple, peach, citrus, and big acidity allow it to pair well with pâté, fish, ham, and foie gras. Also, fine with Asian and Indian foods.

Sauvignon Blanc: Big acidity and crispness cut right through fish allowing it to pair well with chicken, turkey, and veal.

Sémillon (The best of it is sweet wine): Apricot, honey, and nectar-like, it needs foie gras, fish courses; it craves Roquefort cheese. This is the grape for Château d’Yquem.

Viognier: Floral flavors with apricot and tropical fruit, making it excellent for cheese, brunch (egg courses), fruit, and quiche.

Red Wines

Barbera: Rich, plum, peppery, blackberry flavors, with high acidity pair it easily with bistro foods, Italian dishes with beef or chicken. Excellent with comfort foods like macaroni and cheese, burgers, and pizza.

Cabernet Franc: Soft grape with plum, spice and big acidity make it perfect for lamb, pork, and chicken courses.

Cabernet Sauvignon: Big acid, spice, hefty blackberry, and oak require beef, steak, game, and rich cheese courses.

Gamay (Beaujolais wine): Nothing complicated here and it marries easily with pork, ham, cheese, deli foods, brunch dishes, or any casual supper.

Grenache (The best come from Rhône, Australia, and California): Spice and plum pair it nicely with beef, meat, and duck. (Like Pinot Noir, it’s one of the most versatile red wines, marrying with almost any cuisine.)

Malbec: This wine is popular in Argentina, where they love to pair it with steak, red meat game, and beef stew.

Merlot: This wine loves lamb; it also goes well with beef, macaroni, and pasta dishes.

Petite Sirah: Excellent with comfort foods like steak, shish kebab, pasta dishes, and anything else hearty.

Pinot Noir: A versatile wine that craves salmon; superb with roast chicken, pork, grilled meats, quail, and pheasant. Like Champagne, it goes well with almost all cuisines.

Port (Vintage or Tawny):  Stilton Cheese is a natural.  Also cook with Port wine, especially with duck or chicken breasts, or beef or chicken casserole.

Sangiovese: One of Italy’s finest grapes. Big acidity and cherry nuances pair nicely with veal, poultry, beef; it craves Parmesan cheese.

Syrah (also called Shiraz): Peppery, spicy, blackberry, and oak make it forward enough to marry well with game, beef, pork, turkey, and cheese.

Tempranillo: Cherry, soft spice, with good acidity allow it to cut through game, duck, and steak.

Zinfandel: Spicy, with cherry and blackberry and modest acidity allow it to pair easily with beef, veal, pork, chicken, turkey, ragout, and cheese.


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