With help from my husband who has been in the wine business for over 25 years, I will try and simplify wine pairings for you. I have learned a lot from my husband, friends and even growing up as I grew up with wine drinkers who not only drank Californian wines, but also wines from France and Italy.
The key to wine pairing is you want to select a wine that the acidity and structure compliment the meal rather than overwhelm the meal. I typically tend to drink Old World wines (French/Italian) because they compliment foods and are made to go with foods to be enjoyed together. There are plenty of wonderful New World wines being made in California, Oregon and Washington that compliment food as well.
- Salads with vinaigrettes: Gruner Veltliner
- Fish/Cheese/Sushi: Sauvignon Blanc, Prosecco, Champagne
- Spicy Foods: Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, Alsatian (these compliment the heat)
- Whites to try: Vermentino, White Burgundy, Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay
- Rose: I love dry roses. On a warm night nothing is more perfect than a dry rose. A favorite is Domaine Tempier Bandol. There are plenty that are amazing in a lower price point, but this is well worth a splurge. Rose’s can go with many dishes from cheese and charcuterie platters to summer bbq’s.
- Red wines tend to go with heartier dishes such as red meats, pastas with tomato sauces/lasagnes, beef/lamb stews, red meats with sauces
- Cabernets, Zinfandels, Sangiovese, Malbec, Syrah, Bordeaux: tend to go with what I have listed up above
- Cotes du Rhone very versatile red wine that has great character to go with most foods
- Pinot Noir, Gamay, Cabernet Franc, Nebbiolo and Carignan are a groups of red varietals that can go with a wide range of foods depending on the flavors and ingredients of a dish.
- If you have a wine shop you like, sample and taste that is how to develop your palate. Wines are supposed to add to your meal and complete the experience.