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Wine And Food Pairings

Learn the fundamentals of wine and food pairings so you can come up with your own combinations. This article and basic wine pairings chart will walk you through suggestions for pairing. 

The components of a dish and the characteristics of a wine are balanced in a wonderful food and wine match. While food and wine matching is complicated, the fundamentals are simple to comprehend.

White wine and food pairings



Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used in the production of white wine. The variety originated in the Burgundy wine region of eastern France, but is now grown wherever wine is produced, from England to New Zealand.

Brie, Gouda, Jack, Parmesan Crab, Shrimp, Clams, Scallops, Lobster, Snapper, Salmon, Trout Chicken, Game Hen, Turkey, Goose, Duck Veal, Pork Basil, Taragon, Thyme, Curry, Ginger, Nutmeg, Saffron

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon blanc is a green-skinned grape variety that originates from the Bordeaux region of France. The grape most likely gets its name from the French words sauvage and blanc due to its early origins as an indigenous grape in South West France. It is possibly a descendant of Savagnin.

Feta, Goat, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Brie Shrimp, Clams, Oysters, Sole, Snapper Chicken, Game Hen, Turkey Veal Pork Basil, Cilantro, Dill, Tarragon, Thyme, Lemongrass

Pinot Grigio

Pinot gris, pinot grigio or Grauburgunder is a white wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. Thought to be a mutant clone of the pinot noir variety, it normally has a grayish-blue fruit, accounting for its name but the grapes can have a brownish pink to black and even white appearance.

Goat, Ricotta, Mozzarella, Fontina, Provolone Mussels, Sole, Sea Bass, Swordfish, Shrimp, Oysters, Salmon, Trout, Snapper, Smoked Salmon Chicken, Turkey Ham, Salami Tarragon, Thyme, Oregano, Basil


Riesling is a white grape variety which originated in the Rhine region. It is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and sparkling white wines. Riesling wines are usually varietally pure and are seldom oaked.

Bleu Cheese, Feta, Cambozola Crab, Mussels, Smoked Salmon, Shrimp Chicken, Squab, Duck Baked Ham, Pork, Smoked Pork Mint, Tarragon, Cilantro, Ginger, Curry


Gewürztraminer is an aromatic wine grape variety, used in white wines, and performs best in cooler climates. In English, it is sometimes referred to colloquially as Gewürz, and in French it is written Gewurztraminer.

Jalapeño Jack, Smoked Gouda, Smoked Mozzarella Scallops, Mussels, Shrimp, Crab, Salmon, Smoked Salmon Turkey Pork, Ham, Sausage Cilantro, Ginger, Curry, Cinnamon, Clove

Red wine and food pairings


Pinot Noir

Pinot noir is a red wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from Pinot noir grapes. The name is derived from the French words for pine and black. The word pine alludes to the grape variety having tightly clustered, pine cone-shaped bunches of fruit.

Goat, Chevre, Feta, Swiss, Gouda, Brie, Combembert Salmon, Ahi Tuna Chicken, Game Hen, Squab, Duck Beef, Lamb, Pork, Veal Mint, Basil, Tarragon, Rosemary, Anise, Fennel Seed, Pepper, Cinnamon


Merlot is a dark blue-colored wine grape variety, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. The name Merlot is thought to be a diminutive of merle, the French name for the blackbird, probably a reference to the color of the grape.

Comembert, Smoke Gouda, Cheddar, Parmesan/td>



Salmon, Tuna Duck, Squab Beef, Lamb, Pork, Veal, Venison Mint, Rosemary, Tarragon, Thyme


Syrah, also known as Shiraz, is a dark-skinned grape variety grown throughout the world and used primarily to produce red wine. In 1999, Syrah was found to be the offspring of two obscure grapes from southeastern France, Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche.

Parmesan, Pecorino, Smoked Gouda, Dry Jack Salmon, Tuna Squab, Duck, Chicken Beef, Buffalo, Lamb, Pork, Veal, Venison, Sausage Bay Leaf, Lavender, Mint, Rosemary, Thyme


Zinfandel is a variety of black-skinned wine grape. The variety is grown in over 10 percent of California vineyards.

Goat, Feta, Smoked Gouda, Parmesan, Dry Jack None Duck, Squab Sausage, Beef, Lamb, Pork Bay Leaf, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Black Pepper, Fennel Seed, Cinnamon, Clove

Cabernet Savignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most widely recognized red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates from Canada’s Okanagan Valley to Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley.

Gorgonzola, Aged Jack, Brie, Comembert None Chicken, Game Hen, Duck Beef, Buffalo, Lamb, Pork, Veal, Venison Basil, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the best wine pairing tips for pairing wine with spicy dishes?

A: When pairing wine with spicy dishes, it’s important to consider the weight of the wine. Heavier wines will pair better with heavier dishes, and vice versa.

That being said, some general tips for pairing wine with spicy dishes include:

  • Pair light-bodied wines with light-bodied dishes, and vice versa
  • Match acidic wines with spicy foods, as acidic wines help to cleanse the palate
  • Consider tannin levels when pairing food with wine. Tannins can help to cut through fattiness and spice in a dish.
  • Select sweeter wines to balance out the heat in a dish. Sweet wines also tend to have higher acidity levels, which helps to combat spiciness.

Additional Resources

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