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How to Pair Wine and Food

How to Pair Wine and Food

Contrary to popular belief, pairing wine and food together needn't be difficult - in fact, following just a few simple guidelines can yield spectacular combinations!

Complementary pairings highlight both dishes and wines to their fullest. For instance, pairing a peppery Washington Syrah with a succulent steak can bring out its best flavors.


Sweet wine pairs well with savory dishes featuring sweet elements. For instance, dishes featuring fruit reduction or honey glaze pair beautifully with rich, sweet white wines such as Sauternes or Tokaji; their sweetness will balance out that found in food to create a unique combination.

Experimentation is the key to discovering which wines best complement your cuisine, but tasting is subjective so these guidelines should only serve as guidelines. When selecting wines to pair with food, be guided by your personal experience - rather than rigid rules! Enjoy pairing your meal! Cheers!


Salty dishes pair perfectly with wines with some acidity, as their acidity helps balance out the saltiness of their dish.

When pairing sweet foods with wine, fruit flavors may become underemphasized and make the latter seem less flavorful or even bitter compared to its food partner. When this occurs, selecting wines of similar intensity of flavor is recommended in order to prevent an unappetizing imbalance.

However, ultimately it's essential to remember that wine and food pairing should be fun! Don't be intimidated by trying different pairings until you find ones you find most pleasing - whether that means pairing zesty sparkling wine with crispy fried chicken, or an earthy Chardonnay with earthy mushrooms. Whatever works for you!


There are countless rules about pairing food and wine, but for best results you should experiment. Don't listen to sommeliers who advise against pairing Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with green apple pie; if that's what suits your palate then go for it.

To achieve optimal success when selecting wines to pair with food, choose wines with similar tastes so as to enhance rather than overshadow its flavors. Concentrate on finding wines that enhance each of the dominant tastes in your meal (sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami) such as acidic white wines that add refreshing balance while cutting through fat for smooth textures. Acidity also pairs well with sweet desserts!


Food and wine pairing isn't exactly a science; however, some general guidelines can help expand your palette when pairing wines and food together.

As with most things, food and wine pairing can be achieved best by considering overarching flavors. Pay particular attention to sweetness, saltiness and acidity when searching for suitable combinations; sometimes opposites attract; for instance a zesty sparkling wine can go very well with crispy chicken or creamy pasta dishes.

Another consideration when pairing wine and food is its body. A full-bodied wine pairs perfectly with heartier dishes while lighter-bodied wines may work best with lighter fare. Pairings work even better if both wines feature similar intensity of flavor and texture characteristics.


Food and wine pairing is often complex, yet its basics can be learned easily with just a few guidelines. An effective pairing highlights both the flavors of both dishes as well as characteristics in their wine counterparts; for instance, pairing salty bacon with Cabernet Sauvignon draws out its rich fruit notes, while simultaneously amplifying them both.

Light wines like pinot grigio pair well with dishes low in both fat and sodium, such as salads. Additionally, they pair perfectly with fish and other light protein sources.

Champagne or any light sparkling wine pairs beautifully with salty foods or even fried foods due to the carbonation in its bubbles cutting through saltiness while providing a refreshing balance with its savory notes - creating a wonderful pairing that elevates any meal!

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