Classic Regional Wine and Food Matches
France - Bordeaux
Red Bordeaux and lamb :The rich fattiness of young lamb matches with the wine tannins to create a
smooth characteristic in the mouth. The strong texture and flavor of lamb
matches the substantial body of this Cabernet / Merlot blend.
Sauternes and foie gras :The richness of Sauternes matches with the richness of foie gras. The acidity in
the Sauternes cuts through the fattiness of the foie gras.
France - Burgundy
Coq au Vin and red Burgundy :The earthiness of the onions, naturally raised bird, and mushrooms pair with the
earthy character of the Old World Burgundy. The bridging technique of including
the wine during the cooking process assists in the marriage. The cooking
method and bridging technique creates a body match with the Pinot Noir–based wine.
France - Beaujolais
Poached pork sausages with warm
potatoes bathed in olive oil and
shallots and Beaujolais wine :
The Beaujolais is bursting with fruitiness. Relatively low in tannin, this humble
wine works great with humble and down-to earth foods.
Lamb and the Rhône wines made
from Syrah, Grenache, and
Mourvèdre :Rich, gamy, wild flavors of lamb marry with the rich wines.
France - Loire
Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé and Crottin
de Chavignol (a small disk of goat
cheese made in Chavignol) :
A small disk of goat cheese made in Chavignol and high-acid wines made with
Sauvignon Blanc provide perfect tangy counterpoints.
Tarte Tartin and Quarts de Chaume : A sweet, lightly honeyed dessert wine from Chenin Blanc grapes paired with
caramelized tart apples on a light crust.
France - Alsace
Pork and game with hearty
vegetables, potatoes, cabbages, and
onions served with Alsace Riesling :
Perfect cold-weather foods pair wonderfully with this region’s Riesling. The
acidity of the Riesling provides a nice contrast to cut through the fattiness of the
pork and game as well as to provide an additional layer of taste sensation with
the other food items.
Italy - Piedmont
White truffle dishes with Barbaresco
and Barolo :
Earthy and intense flavors of dishes made with white truffle paired with intense
wines using Nebbiolo grapes.
Italy - Tuscany
Bistecca alla Fiorentina and Chianti : A large slab of grilled beef served with wine made from Sangiovese grapes—
fatty, full-bodied food with tannic reds.
Spain - Rioja
Wild mushrooms in garlicky olive oil
served with red Rioja :
The earthy character of wild mushrooms, extra-virgin olive oil, and garlic paired
with the Old World earthiness in Spanish Rioja.
Spain - Jerez
Garlic shrimp with Manzanilla :Shrimp saute´ed in olive oil, dried red pepper, and lots of garlic paired with the
salty, briny olive-scented characteristics of Manzanilla.
Spain - Penedès
Pan con tomate served with Cava : Thick slices of warm grilled country bread rubbed on both sides with the cut
side of a juicy ripe tomato, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkled with
salt. Served as summer night fare with Spanish me´thode champenoise sparkling
wine. The wine-friendliness of garden-fresh tomatoes combines with foodfriendly,
refreshingly acidic Cava.
Port and roasted nuts or cheese : Blue cheeses (Stilton, Gorgonzola, etc.) with Port are a classic contrasting
match. The saltiness of the blue cheese (or nuts) contrasts with the sweetness
of Port (think of popcorn and candy at the movies).
High-acid Rieslings and every meat
dish imaginable :
No oak and varying levels of sweetness make them the most versatile white
wine with food. The acidity and complexity of German Riesling makes it very
food-friendly—it can be paired with a wide range of foods including grilled
sausages and pork roast.
United States - California
Dungeness crab dipped in butter with
The butter-dipped crab matches with the buttery Chardonnay (malolactic
fermentation) when the wine is not overly oaky. The sweetness of the crab
contrasts with the light acidity of the Chardonnay.
Zinfandel with grilled anything; Petite
Sirah with grilled steak :
The sweet charred flavor and crusty texture makes any food more red-winefriendly.
The wine’s simple jammy and fruit-forward character makes it a match
with everything from grilled veggies to chicken to steak.
United States - New York
Hudson Valley foie gras and New
York ice wine :
The richness of ice wine matches with the richness of Foie Gras. The acidity in
the wine cuts through the fattiness of the foie gras.
Pacific Northwest oysters with
Riesling, Se´ millon, or Sauvignon
The oysters are briny and minerally. The higher acidity in Washington white
wines complements the oysters much like a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Pinot Noir and wild Pacific salmon : The higher acidity and lower tannin in these cool-climate Pinots match well with
the fattiness and texture of salmon cooked over an open fire.
Ice wines and desserts : The intensely sweet and yet refreshingly acidic ice wines match with less sweet
desserts such as poached fruit, fruit tarts, cre`me brule´e, and sugar cookies.
Grilled pepper steak and Shiraz : The peppery characteristics of Australian Shiraz match with the body and spice
of grilled pepper steak and is also great with lamb, duck, or venison.
New Zealand fusion cuisine with
Sauvignon Blanc :
The fusion of European traditions combined with indigenous products and
tropical techniques creates a cuisine that includes chiles, lime, and many
tropical fruits. These ingredients pair nicely with the high acidity, slight
sweetness, and pungent character of Sauvignon Blanc.
Barbecued meat with Pinotage and
Grilled antelope, deer, lamb, sausages, and beef cooked without any seasoning
match the body of South African reds; the meat fattiness mellows the tannic
nature of the wines.
Malbec and beef : Malbec is Argentina’s most interesting wine. Its exotic nature allows it to be
paired with beef prepared as empanadas, roasted, or barbecued.
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