A-Z Food and Wine Pairings

wine pair

When it comes to pairing wine with food, the principle is quite simple. Full bodied wine can really only pair to full bodied food (think meat, barbeque, grilled chops); otherwise, it overwhelms the food. Likewise, a crisp acidic white, like a Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc, is significantly more versatile and works better as a food “accent” than a flavor partner. I hear all kinds of argument about the do’s and don’ts of wine pairing, but my friend Marty Tiersky sums it up here. This is Marty’s guide to wine pairing from notes he keeps in a book-like format that he has never published.

Tell me some of the challenges you have when pairing food and wine. We can probably dispel a few myths. Enjoy!

Anchovy Grassy, Loire or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, high acid dry Riesling, Manzanilla Sherry

Artichoke Sauvignon Blanc, Gruner Veltliner

Asian Cuisine Riesling, off dry Vouvray, Albariño, Pinot Grigio, Tocai Fruiliano, new world Sauvignon Blanc, Alsatian Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer

Asparagus Gruner Veltliner Sauvignon Blanc, steely whites,

Bacon Beaujolais, Sancere rouge, Gewurztraminer

Beef, Barbecued Spicy, medium weight Zinfandel, northern Rhone, Languedoc-Roussilon and Austrian reds

Beef, Ground Inexpensive, low tannin, medium weight reds, fruity Merlot

Beef, Roast Bordeaux, California Cabernet

Beef, Steak Bordeaux, California Cabernet, Merlot, Zinfandel, Chianti Classico Riserva, Ribuero del Duero

Beef, Stew Rhone Valley red, Zinfandel

Bell Peppers Sauvignon Blanc, Vouvray

Caesar Salad Crisp Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, light Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Albariño or other Spanish whites, Sparkling wine.

Cajun/Creole Chenin Blanc, Riesling, dry rosé, Zinfandel, Shiraz

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About Laura Levy Shatkin

Laura Levy Shatkin served for 10 years as food and wine critic for the Chicago Reader. Later, she became an Emmy-nominated executive producer for Taste, a 30-minute food and wine show on NBC-5 Chicago, which later merged into www.WineTasteTV.com, where Ms. Levy is a partner/owner. Today, she teaches private wine classes and hosts wine parties for consumers and firms, and continues to tell the video stories of wine, girlfriends and wine travel on her TCW blog, Wine…ing Women.