An Easy-to-Follow Guide to Food and Wine Pairings

Ignite the Senses Wine and Filet Mignon Gift SetSo you just made a delicious gourmet meal for your dinner party, and you want to serve it up to your guests with the perfect wine … but you have no idea where to start! There are so many possible flavor combinations that finding the perfect pairing may seem like a daunting task. But the truth is that there are no hard-and-fast rules for food and wine pairing: Although there are some fool-proof pairings that consistently prove to be delicious, partnering food with wine is a very personal experience.

The trick is to strike a balance: The wine should enhance the food, and the food should bring out the best in the wine, but each should maintain its own distinct flavor. How you find that balance is completely up to you. You can try and bring similar tastes together (e.g., pair a fruity dish with a fruity wine), or you can combine contrasting flavors that complement each other (e.g., pairing a spicy dish with a subtly sweet wine). Look at it this way: You are the artist, and the food and wine are your art supplies. Experiment with different techniques and you’ll create your very own culinary masterpiece!

For those of you who are totally new to the art of wine and food pairing, we’ve created this simple guide with tried-and-true formulas that you can use as your starting point. The golden rule: Pair lighter foods with lighter wines; heavy foods with heavier wines. Your food and wine should be similar in weight so that one doesn’t overpower the other. For example, white wine is a great match for fish and seafood; red wine is an ideal mate for meat. Here are some of our favorite food and wine pairings, which we’ve expertly selected after years of taste-testing and tireless experimentation. Bon appétit!


Veal and Lamb

  • Veal: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot
  • Lamb: Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Merlot, Pinot Noir




  • Pork Chops: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc
  • Baby Back Ribs: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot


  • Chicken: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc
  • Turkey: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot

Burgers and Hot Dogs

  • Burgers: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot
  • Hot Dogs: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot


Don’t have enough time to experiment? If you’d like to make the process even easier on yourself, you can always try our food and wine pairing gift sets. Just pick your favorite food and one of our recommended wines, and you have a perfect match in no time flat!

Now tell us: What’s your favorite food and wine combo?

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Categories: Meat Guide


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