by Annette Naif

It can be a little overwhelming figuring out what wines to pair with your food. Here are some tips on how to pick the best wine with your favorite dish.


Simple Roasted Grilled              Cabernet Sauvignon


Red Boudreaux




In a sauce                                  Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Cabernet Sauvignon




Braised                                        In red wine (match with the same red wine)

Osso Bucco –  Amorone

Brunelle di Montalicione


Peppery spice – red Zinfandel


Acidic Sauce                              Match acid with acid



Eastern (China, India, Japan)  Off-dry Gewürztraminer or Riesling

         (Chinese or Indian)


Veal                                             Rich savory manner good with Barolo,

Brenello di Montalicino, Bordeaux, Cabernet, Merlot or event a Cotes du Rhone



Chicken in a cream sauce       Chardonnay or full White Burgundy


Chicken – Fried                           Lean Sauvignon Blanc

Chardonnay (may not be as refreshing)


Chicken – Roast                         Chardonnay or White Burgundy

If you like red, try Riaja, Pinot Noir or Red



Chicken (Tomato, Spicy,           Smokey & Spicy – Cabernet

Smokey)                                      Sauvignon

Tomato – Chianti, Rosso di Montalcino or Rioja

Spicy – Gewürztraminer or dry-off Riesling


Duck or Game Bird                    Medium-bodied, flavorful Pinot Noir

Red Burgundy

Rioja (good with squab or quail)


Eastern (China, India,              Off-dry Gewürztraminer or Riesling

Japan)                                       (Chinese or Indian)

Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc (Japan)



Full Flavor or Rich Sauce          Flavor fish with rich butter sauce –  Chardonnay


Mild Flavor or Lemon Sauce    Sauvignon Blanc


Salmon                                       Red – Pinot Noir or Burgundy

                                            White – Pinot Gris or Chardonnay


Caviar                                        Dry Champagne



Crab                                           Dry Riesling


Lobster                                        Chardonnay


                                             Brut Champagne or other Brut Sparkling Wine

                                                    Vouvroy is good as well


Oysters                                       Sauvignon Blanc




Shrimp                                       Light acidic manner Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio

Substantial Sauce – Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay

                            Cocktail Sauce – off-dry Riesling or Gewürztraminer


Scallops                                   Clean, rich Chardonnay



Red Tomato Based                Chianti





Lasagna                                 Barolo




                                        Montepluciano d’Abruzzo

                                        Rossi di Montepulciano

                                        Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

                                        Other Italian Reds


Cream Sauce                      Sauvignon Blanc

                               Light Italian Chardonnay

                               Pinot Grigio


With Light Fish                       Pinot Grigio

                                       Sauvignon Blanc



Apple Based Desserts                 Sauternes


Chocolate                                  Brachetto D’Acqui

                                             Asti Spumanti, Muscat

                                             Moscato d’Asti



Cheese                                        Port (Stilton Cheese)

                                             Sauternes (Blue Cheese)

                                             Amarone (Parmegiano Reggiano)

Keep in mind that foods go well with wines where they initiated from so if you are having French food a French acid wine would go best. Additionally, wines and hot spices do not go well together; wine survives better on the palate with a little sweetness.

At the end of the day if you are unsure about what wine to pair with your favorite dish the best rule of thumb is to drink what you like!

Food and Wine Pairing. (2007). Retrieved July 15, 2012 from 

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