Pairing Wine with Food
Pairing wine with food can be easy, so long as you don’t overthink it. Which is very easy to do. Countless articles and so-called wine professionals all trying to tell us what wine we should or should not be drinking with this food or that. If you do a simple google search to see what wine to pair with steak and you’ll get 863,000 results!
At Liquor Cabinet, we employ a fairly basic approach which will rarely steer you wrong. It distills down to a handful of “rules” that you should keep in mind while selecting a wine.
Rule #1: Drink red wine with meat, white wine with fish and poultry.
Rule #2: Disregard rule #1 and eat and drink what you like! Seriously – pairing “rules” are simply somebody else’s OPINION…it’s not law. You should always go with your personal preference. If you like it…drink it!
Rule #3: Serving company and want to impress? Call us at Liquor Cabinet. We will help you choose the right wine and stay within your budget. We can even have it already chilled for you.
Of course, there are some classic matches and tips that satisfy again and again and bring out the best in both wine and food. Wine can enhance the flavors of your food tantalizing your taste buds in ways you never knew possible and vice versa.
Here are some basic tips:
* Focus on your main course. Are your serving steak? Red Fish? A pasta with a spicy red sauce? Pair to this. Don’t worry about the side dishes unless they are extreme (very spicy, lots of lemon, etc.) you’ll only drive yourself insane.
* Stockpile versatile wines for last-minute pairing emergencies. A versatile wine, i.e. one that works with a wide range of foods, includes a lightly oaked Chardonnay for whites: Pinot Noir for reds.
* Always keep a bottle of Champagne chilled (no, it does not have to be an expensive bottle). Champagne goes with almost everything and everybody loves it!
APPETIZERS & STARTERS
ANTIPASTO – Pinot Grigio, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Malbec
CAVIAR – Chenin Blanc, Champagne
COLD MEATS – Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay
NUTS/OLIVES – Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc
RAW OYSTERS – Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Champagne
PASTA SALAD – Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc
PASTA WITH CREAM SAUCE – Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc
PASTA WITH SHELL FISH – Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay
PASTA WITH TOMATO SAUCE – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz
PASTA WITH VEGIES – Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Malbec
CRAB – Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio
LOBSTER – Chardonnay, Chardonnay/Sauvignon blend, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc
RED SNAPPER – Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio
SALMON – Pinot Noir, Rose, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio
SUSHI – Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio
SHRIMP – Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio
STRIPED BASS – Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc
SWORDFISH – Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio
TUNA – Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Shiraz, Chardonnay
OTHER WHITE FISH – Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc
MEAT & POULTRY
BARBEQUE – Zinfandel
CHICKEN – Chardonnay, Merlot, Chenin Blanc
CHICKEN SALAD – Chenin Blanc, Rose, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio
DUCK – Pinot Noir, Merlot, Rose, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Malbec
HAM – Shiraz, Merlot, Malbec, Rose
HAMBURGER – Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Malbec
LAMB (grilled/broiled) – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
PHEASANT – Shiraz, Malbec
QUAIL – Merlot
RABBIT – Merlot, Shiraz, Malbec
SAUSAGE – Chenin Blanc, Shiraz, Merlot, Malbec
STEAK (grilled/broiled) – Cabernet Sauvignon , Merlot, Shiraz, Malbec
TURKEY – Merlot, Chardonnay, Rose
VEAL – Chardonnay, Merlot
VENISON – Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec
PIZZA – Depends on the topping but you can’t go wrong with a Lambrusco
SPICY MEXICAN – Chenin Blanc, Shiraz, Malbec
THAI – Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio
Again, just suggestions. Cheers!