Food and Wine pairing for Dinner | Choosing a Wine for Dinner
Matching Food and Wine - Best food and wine matches
Matching food and wine is something of an art. However, even the novice can follow a few guidelines that will definitely improve their ability to appropriately pair a wine with a meal.
Wine Pairing Rule One
One guideline to live by in pairing food and wine: Light foods go with light wines. Heavy foods go with heavy wines. Delicate meals need a light wine. Heavier meals need a bigger wine.
Example: Filet of Sole goes nicely with a Sauvignon Blanc, not a Zinfandel.
Example: A pesto pizza with prosciutto and cheese goes nicely with a Zinfandel, not a Sauvignon Blanc.
Wine Pairing Rule Two
If you like your everyday red or white wine, don’t worry about trying to match the food you are eating with that particular wine. What matters most is that you like how your wine tastes. Not every meal requires the perfect match with a wine.
Wine Pairing Rule Three
For that special bottle of wine, whether it be a gift, an expensive wine, a highly-rated wine, or sentimental wine, plan the meal around that bottle of wine. Let’s say it is a California Cabernet Sauvignon. Check out our pairing list for Cabernet and then plan your meal. The pairing list is below.
Wine Pairing Rule Four - Practice, practice, practice! Here is how!
Experiment with two or more wines
Go to a Restaurant that has a food
and wine pairing menu
Visit a winery that has an educational
Last and Final Rule
Food and Wine Matches - Examples
Sauvignon Blanc – white or light fish, mild cheese, fruit
Chardonnay – grilled chicken, salmon, shellfish, and grilled fish, anything with a cream sauce.
Pinot Noir – light meats, chicken, grilled anything, salmon.
Merlot – pasta, red meat, duck, smoked or grilled foods
Zinfandel – tomato pasta dishes, pizza, pesto, red meats, chicken with heavy sauces
Cabernet Sauvignon – red meats, especially a juicy barbequed steak, grilled and smoked foods.
Syrah – red meats, spicy pizzas, herbed sauces on red meat, turkey, smoked meats
Dry Rosé - salads, pasta salads, BBQ chicken or fish, light spicy foods
See the Varietal Chart for information on the weight of the various varietals.
Important Tip: Always use a good wine glass. It’s a common practice to bring out your finest crystal for a delicious dinner on a special occasion. These may or may not be the correct glasses for bringing out the best in wine. A good wine glass is an essential part of matching food and wine. Choose the right wine glass.
See what Chef Jeffrey Saad says about pairing food and wine and his top three food safe wines.
Here is an idea: Why not get a group of your friends and rent a villa in the Sonoma or Napa Valley wine country. Hire a private chef like Chef Adair and select wines to be paired with a six-course dinner. It is the perfect end to a wine country experience. Private Chef Service
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