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The simple basic concept of pairing is to compliment and enhance the aromas and flavors of both the food and wine. The following are some general guidelines in matching food and wine:

  • Sweet foods taste less sweet with tannic wines.
  • Salty foods emphasize tannins.
  • Salty foods masks the sweetness while enhancing the fruitiness of a
  • Salty or sweet foods will soften wines that are high in acid.
  • Acidic wines will have a cleansing mouth-feel with foods heavy in oils.
  • A wine high in tannins (Cabernet Sauvignon) matched with a food high in tannins (Spicy tomato sauce) will result in a wine that's very dry and astringent.
  • Proteins will soften tannins, which is why red tannic wines are matched with beef.
  • Light foods with mild flavors like Veal and Halibut, will be overwhelmed by a full-bodied red wine; whereas a rich heavy dish like Italian sausage in a heavy tomato meat sauce will diminish the flavor of a light-bodied Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Sometimes we get unpleasant flavors from combining certain foods and wines such as white turkey meat with Cabernet Sauvignon resulting in metallic type nuances.

Remember these are only general guidelines, many foods can be paired with almost any wine, based on preparation, spices, and added sauces.


Ethnic

Chinese Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Riesling
Indian Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Riesling
Italian Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Zinfandel
Japanese Sauvignon Blanc, Sparkling Wine
Sushi & Sashimi Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Sparkling Wine
Mexican Zinfandel
Thai Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Riesling, Zinfandel
Vietnamese Gewurztraminer, Riesling


Fruit

Apple Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier
Banana Muscat, Riesling
Cherry Merlot, Pinot Noir
Currant Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot
Fig Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Viognier
Guava Chardonnay, Viognier
Grape, White Riesling, Viognier
Lemon Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier
Lime Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier
Mango Chardonnay, Riesling
Melon Muscat, Riesling
Orange Viognier
Papaya Chardonnay, Viognier
Pear Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier
Persimmon Pinot Noir, Riesling, Viognier
Pineapple Riesling
Plum Pinot Noir, Syrah
Pomegranate Merlot, Sangiovese
Quince Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling
Raspberry Pinot Noir
Strawberry Pinot Noir, Sparkling Wine
Tomato Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese


Grains

Pizza w/Tomato Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Sangiovese, Zinfandel
Barley Syrah, Zinfandel
Black Beans Sangiovese, Syrah, Zinfandel
Chili Beans Zinfandel
Lentils Pinot Noir, Syrah
Pasta Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese
Pasta w/Cream Sauce Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sparkling Wine, Pinot Noir
Pasta w/Pesto Sauce Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel
Pasta w/Tomato Sauce Cabnernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, Syrah, Zinfandel
Pinto Beans Zinfandel
Polenta Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
Red Beans Zinfandel
Rice Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc
White Beans Chardonnay
Wild Rice Pinot Noir, Syrah, Zinfandel


Pasta

Pasta Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese
Pasta w/Cream Sauce Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sparkling Wine, Pinot Noir
Pasta w/Pesto Sauce Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel
Pasta w/Tomato Sauce Cabnernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, Syrah, Zinfandel


Vegetable

Artichoke Viognier
Asparagus Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier
Avocado Chardonnay
Broccoli Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc
Brussel Sprouts Sauvignon Blanc
Cabbage Chardonnay
Cabbage, Red Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Viognier, Zinfandel
Caesar Salad Sauvignon Blanc, Sparkling Wine
Carrots Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Viognier
Chanterelle Mushrooms Pinot Noir, Viognier
Chard/Collard Greens Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah
Corn Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier
Cremini Mushrooms Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier
Endive Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel
Eggplant Pinot Noir, Syrah, Zinfandel
Green Beans Sauvignon Blanc
Lettuce Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon
Morelle Mushrooms Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah
Mushrooms, White & Brown Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc
Oyster Mushrooms Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier
Peppers, Chili Sauvignon Blanc
Peppers, Green & Red Sauvignon Blanc
Porcini Mushrooms Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
Portobello Mushrooms Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir
Potato Chardonnay
Pumpkin Pinot Noir, Viognier
Radicchio Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese
Radish Sauvignon Blanc
Shiitake Mushrooms Pinot Noir, Syrah
Spinach Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah
Spinach Salad Sparkling Wine, Zinfandel
Squash Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Viognier
Sweet Potato Muscat, Riesling, Sangiovese
Tomato Sangiovese, Zinfandel
Zucchini Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese

 

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