Food and wine are one of the great pairings in life. The two can go together as well as Chrissy Teigen and Twitter or can go as wrong as the Buttafuocos. And we here at Wine.Life.Style want to be sure you never err on the side of the latter.
With so many foods and wines to choose from, it can be overwhelming – what goes with what exactly. To simplify matters, the general rule, according to our wine experts, is do what makes you happy, regardless of what everyone is telling you. Eat what tastes good and drink what brings you joy. One of the great things about wine and food is that, like pizza or sex, even when it’s just okay, it’s still pretty damn good.
That being said, if you’d like to learn more about which foods and wines bring out the best in each other (according to prevailing wisdom), by all means read on.
When it comes to food and wine pairings, the most simple execution is to put lighter wines with lighter foods, and heavier foods with heavier wines – so that they complement, but don’t overwhelm each other.
Here are just a few happy together forever examples:
- Pinot Noir: beef bourguignon, coq au vin, mushrooms, game
- Merlot: beef, duck, lamb – grilled
- Cabernet Sauvignon: steak, braised beef, short ribs, venison, chocolate
- Sauvignon Blanc: chicken, seafood, shellfish, salads, goat cheese
- Chardonnay: fish, shellfish, chicken, pork, light pastas, summer veggies
- Riesling: chicken, veal, pork, seafood, salads, light pasta
As for cheeses, the rule is: the stronger the cheese – the less refined the wine needs to be. In fact, we wrote a blog post about this not too long back which is a great reference point: 8 Cheeses & The Wines That Love Them.
For more specific pairings, the charts below demonstrate a nice variety of choices for all your various wine- and food-related activities.