Reliable Wine Choices When Ordering in a Restaurant

By Ed McCarthy, Mary Ewing-Mulligan

Here are some wine suggestions that you will find on many restaurant wine lists. If you are not sure what type of wine you should order, here is an easy go-to list. They pair reliably well with the foods listed.

When You Want . . . Order . . .
A crisp, dry white wine that isn’t very flavorful to
accompany delicately flavored fish or seafood
Soave, Pinot Grigio, or Sancerre
Dry, flavorful white wine that’s perfect with mussels and
other shellfish
Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa or New Zealand or an
Albariño from Spain
Medium-bodied, characterful, dry white wine for simple poultry,
risotto, and dishes that are medium in weight
Mâcon-Villages, St.-Véran, Sancerre, or
Pouilly-Fuissé
Full-bodied, rich white wine for lobster or rich chicken
entrées
California or Australian Chardonnay
Medium-dry white wine for Asian-inspired dishes Chenin Blanc, Vouvray, or German Riesling
Easy-drinking, inexpensive red, perfect with roast chicken Beaujolais
Versatile, flavorful, relatively inexpensive red that can stand
up to spicy food
California red Zinfandel
A lighter red that’s delicious, young, and works with all
sorts of light- and medium-intensity foods
Oregon Pinot Noir, Malbec
The basic French version of Pinot Noir; try it with simple cuts
of steak
Bourgogne Rouge
Dry, spicy, grapey, and relatively inexpensive red wine
that’s perfect with pizza
Barbera or Dolcetto
A very dry, medium-bodied red that’s great with pasta and
simple cuts of meat
Chianti Classico