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Wine And Food Pairing Chart

Wine and Food Pairing does not need to be rocket science. The right wine can make a dish "sing" while another selection may seem just "so-so". Worst case the wine can clash or overpower. You need to experiment with wines to find what works best for you. Consider this chart a starting point but be brave and feel free to "break the rules" and you may encounter matches that are "off the charts". Where appropriate we offer suggestions for both red and white wines.

Article by: Barbara Bowman


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Important Pairing Tips

  1. Know the cooking method (poached, braised, broiled, grilled)
  2. Identify the key flavors or sauces
  3. Don't overlook your favorite wines, no matter what the "rules" state

About This Chart

Food Predominant Flavor AttributesAvoidWine
Achiote earthyChianti Classico
Ancho Chile dried fruit Tempranillo, Northern Rhone Syrah Shiraz
Artichokes   Pinot Grigio, Sancerre
Asian Food   Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Sparkling Wine
Asparagus   Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio
Barbecue   Zinfandel, Shiraz
Beef   Zinfandel, Cabernet, Pinot Noir
Cascabel Chile Spicy, nutty, earthy Pinot Noir
Caviar   Gewürztraminer, Champagne
Cheese   See Cheese and Wine Pairing Page
Chicken   Chardonnay, Merlot, Burgandy
Chicken enchiladas with red sauce Sweet, tomato Zinfandel
Chinese Salty, garlic, strong flavorsVery acetic winesGewürztraminer,, Riesling, Cabernet, Merlot
Chipotle Chile Sweet, hot, smoky Argentine Malbec , Spanish Tempranillo
Chocolate   Dessert wine, Banyuls
Cream Soups   Chardonnay
Duck   Pinot Noir, Bordeaux, Cabernet Savignon
Egg dishes   Rose, Champagne
Epazote Piney, pungent Argentine Torrontes New Zealand Pinot Noir
Escabeche Vinegar, sweet, spicy, herbal New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
Fish dishes, rich   Champagne, Merlot, Pinot Noir
Foie Gras   Barolo, Sangiovese, Pinot Noir
Game   Pinot Noir, Barolo, Barbaresco
Goose   Cabernet, Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc
Guajillo Chile Spicy, medium to high heat Syrah
Habanero Chile Hot, tropical Chardonnay or Viognier
Ham   Asti Spumanti
Hoja Santa sweet anise Riesling or Vouvray (Chenin Blanc)
Indian Highly spiced, curry, cumin coconutHeavy oak flavorsMerlot, Zinfandel or Syrah.
Japanese   Sancere or Brut Champagne
Lamb   Riesling
Lime Citrus, tart Oregon Pinot Gris or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc for a crisp, fruity balance.
Mexican Food   White Zinfandel
Mushrooms   Burgandy, Barolo
Pasilla Chile Spicy, chocolate, coffee Zinfandel (rich spicy-fruit), Chilean Cabernet blends (dark fruit, soft tannins).
Pasta   Chianti, Pinot Grigio, Chardonny
Poblano Chile Earthy, medium spice Austrian Grüner Veltliner, Moscatel or dry Riesling (focus on citrus flavors)
Popcorn   Chardonnay, Sparkling wine
Pork   Chardonnay, Chianti, Merlot
Roast Beef   Cabernet, Chenin Blanc
Sausages, spicy   Chardonnay
Salads   Sauvignon Blanc
Sausages, boudin or bratwurst Pinot Gris, Rhrone
Serrano or Jalapeño Chile Spicy Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc (grassy freshness) or Oregon Pinot Gris (fruity)
Shellfish   Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc
Smoked Salmon   Riesling, Champagne
Soy sauce Salty 
Sushi   Chardonnay, Riesling,
Teriyaki Sweet / soy 
Tomatillos Tart, citrus Côtes du Rhône, lighter California Syrah, (soft, youthful fruit) or Alsatian Riesling (fruity with good minerality).
Tomatoes Sweet (more complex if roasted) Sangiovese or Barbera
Turkey   Dry Riesling, Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer
Veal   Chardonnay, Chianti, Bordeaux, White Burgandy
Vegetable Side Dishes   Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc

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