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Pairing Foods with Wines

Depending on the food you’re serving, you may find one wine suits better than another. Pairing foods with wines the right way can make a meal wonderful or a waste.

Here are a few ideas about which wines complement particular foods:

  • Easy-to-drink, lighter red wines: Go well with meat, poultry, and oily fish like salmon. Examples include Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah (called Shiraz in Australia), Beaujolais, and those small-winery offerings labeled simply “red table wine.”

  • Richer, more fully-flavored red wine: Can accompany rich meats and sauces, heavy casseroles, and other strongly-flavored foods. Swirl and sip some Cabernet Sauvignon, red Zinfandel, and red Bordeaux.

  • Easy-to-drink, light white wines: Match light dishes, such as delicate fish, salads, and broth-based soups that aren’t too highly spiced. Try dry Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chablis, and Pinot Grigio.

  • Rich, oaky, buttery California Chardonnay: Pairs with more strongly flavored fish, poultry, salads, and soups. A gutsy Chardonnay can also taste good with the leaner cuts of pork and beef.

  • Sweet wines: Suitable for serving with dessert (or as dessert). Try Riesling, Gewürztraminer, White Zinfandel, Vouvray, and fortified dessert wines such as sherry and Port.

  • Champagne or other sparkling wines: Good to keep on hand because you never know when you might have cause for celebration! Champagne goes with just about any food.

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