Perfect Wine Pairings
Matching wine and food doesn't have to be difficult
When you’re pairing food with wine, the rules change. Serve a red and a white wine at dinner — it’s okay to go back and forth when you’re tasting food with wine.
“Wine and food come together when the character traits of wine mesh with the food’s personality,” says master sommelier Evan Goldstein, author of Perfect Pairings: A Master Sommelier's Practical Advice for Partnering Wine with Food.
Spicy and Sweet Dishes: Off-Dry Riesling
An off-dry riesling is a versatile companion for many diverse dishes — think pulled pork sandwiches or ginger-and-chili-fired Thai curries. It’s also excellent with seafood and it’s one of the few wines that can hold its own with egg preparations and smoked salmon and pork.
Off-Drying Riesling Cheese Match: St. Agur
Earthy and Smoky: Pinot Noir
Nothing trumps pinot noir as a food-friendly red. It’s really a white wine masquerading as a red, with good acidity and soft tannins. It goes with almost everything, except overly rich butter-based sauces and strongly flavoured fish like anchovies, sardines and mackerel. Chilled slightly, it’s perfect for a picnic.
Pinot Noir Cheese Match: Taleggio
Steaks and Grilled Meats: Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet sauvignon is the world’s classic red wine grape. Choose an older Bordeaux blend or California cabernet to drink with rare beef and a young cab to accompany beef braises or stews. The firm tannins refresh the palate after bites of grilled meats.
Cabernet Sauvignon Cheese Match: Riopelle de L’Isle
Salty and Deep-Fried Foods: Sparkling Wine
Not just for toasting, bubbles have the depth of flavour and richness to offer a range of pairing options, from sashimi and creamy soups, to fish and chips, shellfish and omelettes. Perfect with Asian foods like deep-fried Chinese dishes, Indian samosas and Thai curries.
Sparkling Wine Cheese Match: L’Édel de Cléron
Soups and Salads: Sauvignon Blanc
The palate-cleansing acidity of sauvignon blanc and notes of citrus and herb pair with a wide range of dishes including salads with vinaigrettes, vegetarian soups and grilled poultry or seafood.
Sauvignon Blanc Cheese Matches: Salt Spring Island Chèvre or, if you can’t find that, try Woolwich Dairy Chevrai or Snow Goat Fresh Chèvre