Wine Pairings Made Easy


In the words of George Carlin, “What wine goes with Captain Crunch?” In this episode, we tackled wine pairings…and we discovered,  this whole wine pairing thing…it isn’t as simple as we thought it was going to be.

There are some basic pairings that are easy to remember and will make us all look like experts! Pair: red with red, white with white, bold with bold, and sweet with spicy. What do we mean by this? You’ll want to pair your red wine with your red meats. Get that juicy steak ready! Pair your chardonnay with a nice piece of white fish. Pour a glass of a bold Zinfandel and pair it with barbecued pork ribs. You know that spicy noodle dish you love? A sweet glass of Riesling would be a perfect compliment to that dish!

Now, let’s get a little fancy. Marc used some big words this week, and here’s a quick recap of what he said: When you’re making some decisions on your pairings you need to decide if you want your food to complement or contrast with your wine. In other words (BIG words)  are these pairings congruent or contrasting? If they are congruent then they share flavors to enhance one another. If they are contrasting, there is a balance between two different flavors, like spicy and sweet. So, what are you gonna do? 

All this being said, studies have come out that have stated that we shouldn’t be pairing our wines with our foods, we should be pairing them with our moods…. The article is referenced below! If you still want to pair your wines with your foods, here are some amazing tips for you!

Unsophisticated Tips:

Pair rosé  with appetizers – Because rosé  has the qualities of both red and white it’s versatile wine that goes with most foods!

Pair whites with whites  – Go for the unoaked whites over the oaked. Try an albariño or an unoaked chardonnay. It won’t compete with the food the way an oaked white will. 

Don’t go too Sweet with Your Dessert Wines – You don’t want the dessert wine to be as sweet as the dessert. One needs to be less sweet than the other in order for the flavors to complement one another.

Pair Tannic Reds with  Red Meat – Tannic reds provide a mouth feel that go well with meat.

Pair Earthy Food with Earthy wines – Try a pinot and something gamey like bison, or a veggie like mushrooms!

Pair Light meats with light wines – You can pair a light meat such as pork or chicken with a white OR a light red, like pinot!

Pair Sweet with Spicy – Why do these go together? Sweet wines are lower in alcohol. Wines that are higher in alcohol accentuate the spiciness, making the meal unpleasant. Plus, these flavors work well together!

With ALL of this information, the MOST important thing is to drink what you like! If you like a glass of chardonnay with your ribeye, go for it! If you want a cabernet with your fettuccini alfredo, enjoy!

Until next time, drink responsibly! Cheers!

“As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.”

― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

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