A Basic Wine-Pairing Guide

wine-pairing guide
Monday, February 8, 2016

Tags: wine-pairing guidePair wine withwine-pairing


Feature image: thecullinarycook.com

There’s no denying that the wonderfully fruity aroma of a chilled glass of wine, goes down well on those warm and breezy summer evenings. After a long work day there’s nothing better than taking the edge off with a tasty meal and a refreshing drink. But there’s nothing worse than spending hours in the kitchen preparing an exquisite meal, only to have its flavours dulled down by pairing it with the wrong wine.

The grape varieties out there are endless, and learning all the wine-pairing possibilities may seem like a lot to soak up. That’s why we’ve put together a basic wine-pairing guide, covering the most popular wines, to ensure that your every meal is always enjoyed with rosy cheeks and giggles.

Use Our Wine-Pairing Guide To Get The Most Out Of Your Dining Experience

Merlot (pronounced mer-loh)

wine-pairing guide - Merlot

Did you know?

The name Merlot means little Blackbird in French

Description: Dark blue coloured wine with a mellow tannin taste.

Pair Wine With:

  • Lamb
  • Fresh herbs (such as thyme and Rosemary)
  • Mushrooms
  • Pizza
  • Hams
  • Bean dishes
  • Pork chops

Recipe recommendation: Jamie Oliver’s Lamb Shank Recipe

Dry sparkling wines

Image: www.huffingtonpost.com

Did you know?

 Sparkling wines are often incorrectly referred to as Champagne? Although Champagne is sparkling wine, it differs in that it comes directly from the region of Champagne in France.

Description: A fizzy or bubbly wine with a hint of sweetness.

Pair Wine With:

  • Chicken Liver Pate
  • Caviar
  • Smoke Salmon
  • Pork Sausages
  • Salty snacks like Pretzels
  • Pasta

Recipe recommendation: Fettuccine with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Sauvignon Blanc (pronounced saw-vee-nyon-blahnk)

Image: winemag.com

Did you know?

Sauvignon Blanc is a kind of green-skinned grape that comes from the city Bordeaux in France. The word Sauvignon is thought to have come from the French word ‘Sauvage’, meaning wild, and the word ‘blanc’ translates to the colour white.

Description: Crisp and dry white wine.

Pair Wine With:

  • Sour and acidic dressings and sauce
  • Green vegetables
  • Cheese (especially Goats cheese)
  • Fish like Sole and Sea bass
  • Pesto
  • Oysters
  • Pasta
  • Mussels
  • Spaghetti

Recipe recommendation: Pan-fried Sole with lemon-butter sauce

Chardonnay (pronounced shar-doh-nay)

wine-pairing guide chardonnay

Image: duckhornwinecompany.com

Did you know?

Chardonnay is one of the most popular grape varieties planted throughout the world.

Description: A rich oaky white wine

Pair Wine With:

  • Fatty fish like Salmon
  • Shellfish
  • Creamy and buttery sauces
  • Chicken
  • Risotto
  • Pasta

Recipe recommendation: Carb-free Zucchini Lasagna

Dry Rose

Wine-pairing guide - dry rose

Image: dinnervine.com

Did you know?

Dry Rose is known by many different names around the globe. For example, it is know as Rosado in Spain and Rosato in Italy.

Description: A fresh acidic red wine

Pair Wine With:

  • Rich cheesy dishes
  • Tomato salads
  • Olives
  • Shrimp
  • Scallops
  • Cold meats like ham
  • Spices (such as Saffron and tarragon)
  • Grilled chicken

Recipe recommendation: Nigella Lawson’s Spanish Paella

Sweet Rose 

wine-pairing guide - sweet rose

Image: dailymail.co.uk

Did you know?

Sweet Rose is made from the same grapes as dry Rose, but because the sugar in the alcohol is not fermented, it gives off a sweeter taste.

Description: Sweet and fruity wine with a pink hue.

Pair Wine With:

  • Tuna
  • Couscous
  • Spicy Indian and Mexican foods
  • White meat like chicken
  • Salads

Recipe recommendation: Spiced herb & almond couscous

Cabernet Sauvignon (pronounced cab-er-nay-saw-vee-nyon)

wine-pairing guide - Cabernet Sauvignon

Image: www.cellartours.com

Did you know?

Cabernet Sauvignon is the result of an accidental breeding between a red Cabernet Franc and a white Sauvignon Blanc grape plant.

Description: A rich full-bodied red wine with heavy fruit flavours.

Pair Wine With:

  • Juicy red meat like beef or venison
  • Lentils
  • Mustard
  • Potatoes
  • Black pepper
  • Pastas like macaroni
  • Baked Eggplant

Recipe recommendation: California-Style Grilled Steak

Now that you know more about different wine-pairing combinations, you should be able to speak the wine-lover's lingo in no time! We hope that you’ve found this wine-pairing guide helpful and that you enjoy your next meal with a flood of gorgeous wine-soaked flavours.

Your opinion matters to us – drop us a note in the comment box below and let us know what your favourite wine-pairing combination is.


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