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A General Guide to Food and Wine Pairings

Sep 30, 2010

The holiday season is upon us again and that means lots of food, wine, and celebration. If you are the hosting type, you'll likely already be planning your upcoming parties and guest lists, and beyond that, your menus. While there are no ironclad rules where food and wine pairings are concerned, there are certainly some simple guidelines that will help make your dinner parties easier and assist in a seamless party season.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a fabulously deep, complex and hearty red that is wonderful with juicy roasts, steak and pork chops.

Pinot Grigio is a rather delicate white making it a lovely choice for light fish dishes and shellfish.

Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with tangy/tart dishes as well as smoked or grilled meats and fish.

Chardonnay has the wonderful ability to compliment fatty fish, like salmon, as well as roast chicken, lobster and pasta in a rich, lush sauce.

Pinot Noir has great depth for dishes with earthy flavors such as mushrooms, truffles, root vegetables and also pairs nicely with lamb, beef stews, game meats and roast turkey.

Serve a Riesling or Gewürztraminer with chicken or seafood containing sweet & spicy flavours like chilies and ginger as well as recipes with citrus notes.

A rich and rustic Zinfandel is fantastic with pâtés, mousses and terrines.

Malbec and Shiraz are bold enough to drink with barbecue sauce based meals, spicy dishes, sausages, ham and pork roasts.

When in doubt, think about pairing the wine with its region. For example, if you plan on making a Tuscan inspired dish, a beautiful Italian Chianti would be a natural fit.

And of course, no celebration would be complete without a toast of Sparkling Wine which will conclude any dessert course with utter panache.

(Photo Credit: Whole Foods Market.com)