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The New Rules for Pairing Food and Wine

By Fine Cooking Editors, editor

March 3rd, 2011

In Marnie Old's CooksClub exclusive, The New Rules for Pairig Food and Wine, she writes:

Wine and food are, for the most part, good friends. And when a meal is matched with the right wine, both taste better than they would on their own. That’s where the “rules” of food and wine pairing come in, to help people confidently pick wines that taste good with their food. You’ve heard them before: White wine goes with fish and poultry, red wine goes with red meat, and so on. But the food world has changed, so these old-school rules don’t necessarily fit the way we cook and eat these days. Today’s recipes, ingredients, and cooking methods are more diverse, and so are today’s wines.

So what’s a wine-loving cook to do? Start by putting the food first and go from there. Marnie's cheat sheet should help.

Food and Wine: A Cheat Sheet
If you put the food first and consider your senses, it’s easy to pick a wine to go with dinner. This chart will help get you started.

If the food is... Get the recipe
The wine tastes... So choose... Sush as..

Salty

For example:
Linguine with Clam Sauce

Less acidic A high-acid wine French Sancerre or Oregon Pinot Noir

Sweet

For example:
Braised Pork with Manchamantel Sauce

Less Sweet, sharply acidic A sweet wine with moderate acidity Washington Riesling or South African Chenin Blanc

Acidic

For example:
Lemon-Ginger Poached Halibut


Less acidic A high-acid wine New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or Italian Barbera

Fatty or oily

For example:
Tuscan Braised Short Ribs


Lighter in body; reds less tannic A full-bodied wine; high-tannin reds California Chardonnay or Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon

Spicy

For example:
Spicy Jerk Pork Chops


More alcoholic A light-bodied wine preferably off-dry Portuguese Vinho Verde or German Riesling

Smoky or caramelized

For example:
Smoky Rib-Eye Steaks


Less oaky An oaky, barrel-aged wine Australian Chardonnay or Spanish Rioja

posted in: Blogs, wine paring
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