How to Pair Wine with Your Meal

Wine can be an essential part of a meal, but how many of us really know how to pair wine and food? You might be surprised to know that learning how to perfectly pair wine with your meal is easier than you’d think! By following a few simple guidelines, anyone can discover matches made in taste heaven.

The most important tip is to keep an open mind. If you go into a pairing with the idea that the match won’t taste good, it probably won’t.

Red Bank Wine WalkAside from keeping an open mind, the most common tip is one you’ve heard before: white meat goes with white wine and red meat goes with red wine. It’s hard to go wrong with this simply idea! There is more to keep in mind, though. The way the food is cooked will also impact the wine pairing. Though chicken pairs best with white wine, grilled or roasted chicken will be best with Chardonnay and chicken with a rich sauce will be better with a Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon.

In following this white/white, red/red guideline, you’ll find that there are a lot of traditional pairings. Beef or lamb goes well with a full-bodied red wine such as Barbera, Sangiovese, Cabernet, Sauvignon, Merlot or Pinot Noir. Tomato based meals, especially Italian dishes, will go best with Barbera, Sangiovese or a Zinfandel. Pinot Noir is also paired with a duck-based meal, making it a nice choice for Thai food in New Jersey. Fish and other seafood is commonly paired with white wine, most often a Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. However, flaky fish will taste its best with a dry Riesling or Chardonnay.

Speaking of Thai food, spicy foods should be paired with a sweet Riesling, as the sweet wine will offset the bold spices of the food. You should also try a sweet wine with dessert, as long as the dessert isn’t as sweet as the wine.

That said, while these are all great pairings, it is important to remember that this isn’t an exact science. In order to get the very best pairing for you, have fun and experiment!