Food & Wine Pairings

15 Perfect Pairings, from White Wines, to Rosés, to Reds:

White Wines

Crispy Udon Noodles with Nori Salt

is perfect with anything salty

Most dry sparkling wines, such as brut Champagne and Spanish cava, actually have a faint touch of sweetness. That makes them extra-refreshing when served with salty foods.

Crispy Udon Noodles with Nori Salt

Scallops with Grapefruit-Onion Salad

Sauvignon Blanc
goes with tart dressings and sauces

Tangy foods won’t overwhelm zippy wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Vinho Verde from Portugal and Verdejo from Spain.

Scallops with Grapefruit-Onion Salad (photo)

Sour Orange Yucatán Chickens

Zucchini Linguine with Herbs

Grüner Veltliner
when a dish has lots of fresh herbs

Austrian Grüner Veltliner’s citrus-and-clover scent is lovely when there are lots of fresh herbs in a dish. Other go-to grapes in a similar style include Albariño from Spain and Vermentino from Italy.

Zucchini Linguine with Herbs

Seafood Tostada Bites

Pinot Grigio
Pairs with light fish dishes

Light seafood dishes seem to take on more flavor when matched with equally delicate white wines, such as Pinot Grigio or Arneis from Italy or Chablis from France.

Seafood Tostada Bites

Sizzling Shrimp Scampi

For fatty fish or fish in a rich sauce

Silky whites—for instance, Chardonnays from California, Chile or Australia—are delicious with fish like salmon or any kind of seafood in a lush sauce.

Sizzling Shrimp Scampi (photo)

Crisp Salmon with Avocado Salad

Thai Green Salad with Duck Cracklings

Off-Dry Riesling
Pairs with sweet & spicy dishes

The slight sweetness of many Rieslings, Gewürztraminers and Vouvrays helps tame the heat of spicy Asian and Indian dishes.

Thai Green Salad with Duck Cracklings

Honeyed Fig Crostatas

Moscato d’Asti
loves fruit desserts

Moderately sweet sparkling wines such as Moscato d’Asti, demi-sec Champagne and Asti Spumante help emphasize the fruit in the dessert, rather than the sugar.

Honeyed Fig Crostatas


Beet Risotto

Rosé Wines

Rosé Champagne
is great with dinner, not just hors d’oeuvres

Rosé sparkling wines, such as rosé Champagne, cava and sparkling wine from California, have the depth of flavor and richness to go with a wide range of main courses.

Beet Risotto

Triple-Decker Baked Italian Cheese Sandwiches

Dry Rosé
For rich, cheesy dishes

Some cheeses go better with white wine, some with red; yet almost all pair well with dry rosé, which has the acidity of white wine and the fruit character of red.

Triple-Decker Baked Italian Cheese Sandwiches

slideshow  Dry Rosé Pairings


Red Wines

Leek-and-Pecorino Pizzas

Pinot Noir
is great for dishes with earthy flavors

Recipes made with ingredients like mushrooms and truffles taste great with reds like Pinot Noir and Dolcetto, which are light-bodied but full of savory depth.

Leek-and-Pecorino Pizzas (photo)

Shiitake-and-Scallion Lo Mein

Pappardelle with Veal Ragù

Old World Wines
and Old World dishes are intrinsically good together

The flavors of foods and wines that have grown up together over the centuries—Tuscan recipes and Tuscan wines, for instance—are almost always a natural fit.

Pappardelle with Veal Ragù (photo)

Smoky Shrimp-and-Chorizo Soup

Chicken Drumsticks with Asian Barbecue Sauce

won’t be overshadowed by sweet-spicy barbecue sauces

Malbec, Shiraz and Côtes-du-Rhône are big and bold enough to drink with foods brushed with heavily spiced barbecue sauces.

Chicken Drumsticks with Asian Barbecue Sauce

Creamy Chicken-Liver Mousse

For pâtés, mousses and terrines

If you can use the same adjectives to describe a wine and a dish, the pairing will often work. For instance, the words rustic and rich describe Zinfandel, Italy’s Nero d’Avola and Spain’s Monastrell as well as chicken-liver mousse.

Creamy Chicken-Liver Mousse

Lamb Chops with Frizzled Herbs

Cabernet Sauvignon
is fabulous with juicy red meat

California Cabernet, Bordeaux and Bordeaux-style blends are terrific with steaks or chops: Their firm tannins refresh the palate after each bite of meat.

Lamb Chops with Frizzled Herbs (photo)

Korean Sizzling Beef

Cumin-Spiced Burgers with Harissa Mayo

Matches with highly spiced dishes

When a meat is heavily seasoned, look for a red wine with lots of spicy notes. Syrah from Washington, Cabernet Franc from France and Xinomavro from Greece are all good choices.