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Matching food and wine should be fun and not an experience creating unnecessary grey hairs. We’ve listed a few "rules of  thumb" to help get you started.

Remember — the most important thing is to have fun and not be afraid to experiment.

Simple suggestions for the perfect match:

  • Think — light, medium, and full bodied.
  • Body is the most important consideration when matching food and wine.
  • Serve delicate foods with lighter bodied wines — like oysters with Chablis.
  • Try robust foods with full bodied wines — like barbequed steak with Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Sauces are often more powerful than the food itself so they are an important consideration when choosing a wine. A light curry sauce requires a wine lighter in body than a rich tomato and meat sauce.
  • A wine high in tannin is best matched with meat, like beef steak or lamb chops.
  • When serving wine with sweet food (dessert) be sure the wine is sweeter than the food. Otherwise the wine will taste acidic.
  • Salty foods are best paired with a slightly sweet, fruity wine — like baked ham and German Riesling.
  • Hot and spicy foods require a wine low in alcohol and slightly sweet — like Thai food with Champagne or German Riesling. 
  • Sparkling wines go with many foods, can be served with lighter dishes or used to cleanse the palate between courses.
  • Dry sherries, served chilled, can accompany clear soups, light fish dishes or even smoked salmon.
  • Ports are wonderful with cheese. A classic combination is port and stilton cheese.

More Food For Thought
These are just the tip of the iceberg. Try them or create your own!

White Wine

  • Chablis — oysters, mussels
  • Oaked Chardonnay — lobster, smoked or barbequed salmon, chicken with bechamel sauce
  • Chenin Blanc — spanokopita, tabouli, salad nicoise
  • Gerwurztaminer — smoked salmon, Thai food
  • Muscat — melon and fresh strawberries
  • Pinot Blanc — salad, sole fillet with lemon
  • Pinot Gris/Grigio — quiche lorraine, fettuccini alfredo
  • Riesling — Chinese food, baked salmon
  • Sancerre — cheese fondue
  • Sauvignon Blanc — prawns, asparagus, goat cheese, clams, ratatouille, calamari
  • Semillon — spinach salad, foie gras
  • Tokay — creme brulee

Red Wine

  • Burgundy — ham steak, pheasant, pork, fillet mignon duck
  • Cabernet Sauvignon — rack of lamb, barbequed steak, goose, spareribs
  • Chateauneuf du Pape — blue cheese, venison, buffalo burgers
  • Chianti — minestrone soup, tomato-based pasta, veal parmigiana
  • Cotes du Rhone — lamb kebab, ratatouille
  • Malbec — barbequed hamburgers, beef ribs, roast beef
  • Merlot — roasted chicken, turkey
  • Nebbiolo — roast duck, goose, osso bucco
  • Pinot Noir — barbequed salmon, roasted pheasant, turkey, moussaka, salads
  • Rioja — roasted chicken, lamb with rosemary, paella
  • Shiraz — sirloin steak, venison
  • Zinfandel — venison, lamb, steak, hamburgers