Everyone who loves wine will love certain wines with certain foods. A simple cheese tray with cranberries, candied almonds and crackers to a gourmet prime rib dinner; some wines work and others don't. The perfect wine can put your meal over the top, enhance your dining experience and put you in the running as a sommelier and master chef in the making!
Pinot blanc, Pinot gris, Riesling, Sauvignon blanc, Chablis, Champagne, Muscat, Gewurztraminer, Vouvray
Oaked Sauvignon Blanc, White Burgundy, Viognier, Rousanne, Marsanne, Chardonnay, Semillon, Cava, Chablis,Sancerre
Pinot Noir, Dolcetto, Beaujolais, Valpolicella
Barbera, Burgundy, Merlot, Zinfandel, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Chinon, Rioja, Chianti, Sangiovese, Grenache,
Bordeaux, Barolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah/Shiraz, Port, Bastardo, Saperavi, Armone, Malbec, Primitivo, Pinotage
Muscat, Ice Wine, Sauternes, Tokaji, Madeiras, Sherries, Port Madeira, Recioto della Valpolicella, Banyuls
Champagne (France), Cava (Spain), Asti (Italy), Sekt (Germany, Austria, Czech, Pezsgo (Hungary)
*note there are many more in all categories that have not been mentioned.
Rule #1-Drink wine you like with a food you like
If you don't like liver it won't matter what wine you pair with it you still won't like liver. When eating we usually drink before and after the food we consume; as we are either talking or swallowing.
Rule #2-Balance-Body, Richness, Weight of both the food and wine
Match mild wines with mild foods- Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Burgundy
Bold wines with flavorful food- Cabernet Sauvignon, White Burgundy, Pinot Noir
Spicy wine with spicy food-Chardonnay
Rich fatty food with a rich wine high in acids or tannins-Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Shiraz, Zinfandel, dry Gewurtztraminer or Riesling
Select wine varietals that will enhance the flavors of the food you are serving. Fish=Chardonnay, Steak=Cabernet Sauvignon, Salad or Tomato based dish=Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris, Turkey=Gewurztraminer, Desert Wine or Port= sweet desserts
You can serve Red and White wine and let your guests decide which suits them best. We can divide cheese into four categories to simplify the possibilities.
Bloomy: Creamy, decadent cheeses, with a soft rind. Hard: Stiff cheeses, which are often sharp and /or salty. They can be aged. Fresh: Soft, spreadable and not usually ages. Tangy or mild. Blue: Pungent, often salty cheeses, can have a blue color.
Some idea for pairing cheese with wines are:
Soft Cheese such as Brie, Goat's cheese, Blue Cheeses such as Stilton pair well with Chardonnay, Riesling, Sparkling Wine and Sauvignon Blanc
Hard Cheesesuch as Cheddar, Gouda, Jarlsberg, Parmesan Gruyere pair well with Beaujolais, Rioja and Cabernet Sauvignon, Valpolicella
Fresh Cheese: Ricotta, Mozzarella, Feta, Burrata, Ricotta pair well with Pinot Grigio, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Tocai Friulano, Beaujolais