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The Basics of Pairing Food And Wine

The candles are lit and the table is set. You’ve done everything to set the mood for the perfect dinner party. But, did you know that serving the perfect wine is just as important as the preparing the meal you prepare? It’s true. Wine can make a good meal great - if you pick the right one.

The first step to correctly pair wine with food is to analyze your meal. Determine what the dominant spices and sauces are of the primary dish. Then, analyze it using these four factors.


Body/weight: Are the elements of the food heavy or light?
Flavor intensity: Is the flavor weak or strong?
Aroma: What kind of smells does the food give - fruity, earthy?
Taste: Does it taste sweet, spicy or bitter?

Once you know the body, intensity, aroma and taste, you can use them as a guide to choose the right wine. As a rule-of-thumb, food and wine should either complement or contrast each other. The wine should not overpower the food and the food should not overpower the wine.


There are thousands and thousands of wines out there and it can all get a little confusing. Below is a list of some popular food and wine pairings. These are just a few examples you can use or help point you in the right direction.

Beef and lamb - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Bordeaux

Mild cheese - Champagne, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Sparkling wine

Hard cheese - Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti or Merlot

Chicken - Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir or Chardonnay

Desserts, fruit and salty cheese - Sauternes, Sauvignon and Riesling

Pizza - Piedmont, Spanish reds or Chateauneuf du Pape

Pork - Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir or Riesling

Seafood - Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Noir

Turkey - Zinfandel, Beaujolais Nouveau, Rose, Pinot Grigio or Albarino


Remember, it all comes down to personal taste. So, if you find a wine that you like, stick with it! And, don’t be afraid to try something new. Friends and family are great wine references. It may lead you to your new favorite wine. You can also research wines online or join a wine club to have a variety of wines delivered regularly right to you door.

Be sure to keep track the wines you like, and the wines you’d like to try. Sites like can help you keep all your articles, references, links, and notes in one, convenient location.

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Scott BarnardScott Barnard

As founder of Remember Stuff and a father of 2, I know what it's like to try to juggle family life and work. Hopefully, the tools on the site help you to save time, save money and Make Life Easier!

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