enhanced in 2009

Matching wine with food

How to combine wines with food? Herebelow are basic principles. If you have a specific varietal wine and you wonder which food would match, you will find suggestions in my primer on types of wines.



The following food damages wine tasting: spice, garlic, vinegar (to be replaced by white wine), raw fruits.

You should also:

  • Avoid red meat with white wines or sweet wines.

  • Avoid fish, raw vegetables, and goat cheese, with red wines that dry the palate - but think of trying a cool Gamay or a fruity Pinot, or even a dry white wine!

  • Avoid desserts, Foie Gras, and very strong cheeses (Munster, blue cheese), with Loire Cabernet, pink wine, or crisp white (such as dry Loire, Champagne, or Vinho Verde).

Food-wine pairing explained

Wine rouses pleasure with various food. Almost any dish can be matched with many types of wines. People have different palates and inclinations: everyone will make their own combinations.

Still life
For example most people will love cheese or poultry with a young white (any cheese with Chardonnay, goat cheese with Sauvignon Blanc or Muscadet).

Some rules can guide your matching experiments though:

  • A simple course leaves room for the wine to shine.

  • Old wines are delicate to serve and match. The dish should be discreet.

  • In theory, a slightly sweetened or bitter course accentuates the dryness (acidity, tannins) of a wine. You should thus avoid hard wines with sweet food.

  • On the contrary, the more a dish is salty or acidic, the sweeter the wine will taste. This is an opportunity for you to try wines from fresher climates.


There also is the reference on food and varietal pairing . Yet remember to experiment and have fun. By the way, food and wine pairings will be easier if your bottle collection is balanced, which you can obtain through a diversified buying policy.

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