The most common question asked during this season is “What do I pair with_____?” Well, my friends it is easier than you think! Let’s keep it simple and have fun with it. The holidays are stressful enough without having to worry about what wine to pair with the enormous variety of foods. To be honest, there is no ONE wine that will go with everything so stop freaking out. Let’s start with the simple rules of engagement: Rule #1: Match the weight of your food with the body of the wine. In the food, the weight is described as the intensity or fullness of flavor and in comparison with wine, the body is the “mouthfeel”. find a domain The easiest way to bring you to the Ah ha moment is to put it simply. Think about how water feels in your mouth versus milk or cream. Usually, wines with a heavier body have more alcohol. You don’t want your food to overpower your wine or your wine to over power your food. Pair your wines to the sauces, spices, tannins or proteins. Is your sauce cream or water based? Spices make foods have a heavier “weight” and tannins will make wines seem heavier and the higher the protein will mean more weight. Tannins are in love with protein so it is quite the experience on the palate. Rule #2: Compliment. Acidic wines pair with acidic food; fruit and fruit, earth and earth, sweet and sweet, spice and spice and so on. Rule #3: Contrast. Again, to keep it simple, pair salty food with sweet wines, spicy foods with sweet or crisp wines to tone down the heat or if you want to kick it up a notch, spicy food with high alcohol wines is like throwing gas on a fire. Bitter foods go great with fruit forward wiens and pair higher acidic wine with fatty cream sauces. Remember, just drink what you like and have fun with your pairings. To help you along your wine pairing journey, just remember W.I.N.E. Weight, Intensity, Note the region & Equals (when in doubt). If you are still need help check out the book “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wine & Food Pairing” written by Jaclyn Stuart and Jeanette Hurt.

Putting it Together: Pairing Basics ABC’S
Apples- Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Chenin Blanc
Apricots- Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Late Harvest Wines
Artichoke- Gruner Veltliner, Blanc de Blancs Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc
Asparagus- Gruner Veltliner, Sauvignon Blanc, unoaked Chardonnay
Avocado- Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Brut Champagne
Bacon- Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Tempranillo
Banana- Blanc de Blanc Champagnes, Tawny Port
Beans- Shiraz, Zinfandel, Red Blends
Beef- Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah/Shiraz, French Pinot Noir
Berries- Sparkling wines, Riesling, California Red wines
Bread- Chardonnay, Sparkling Wines
Broccoli- Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio
Butter- Chardonnay, Sparkling Wines
Carrots- Viognier, Semillon, Riesling
Cheddar Cheese- Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir
Chicken- Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling
Cinnamon- Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer
Corn- Chardonnay, Sparkling Wine, Pinot Gris
Duck- Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Merlot
Garlic- Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Rose’s, Chardonnay, Zinfandel
Green Beans- Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir
Lamb- Pinot Noir, Dry Rose’s, Syrah/Shiraz, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc
Lobster- Chardonnay, Sparkling Wines, Riesling, Pinot Noir
Mushrooms- Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sparkling Wines, Zinfandel
Nutmeg- Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
Nuts- Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Shiraz, Chardonnay
Olives- Dry Rose’s, Pinot Grigio, Tempranillo
Onion- Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio/Gris, Riesling, Beaujolais, Syrah
Peach- Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Sparkling Wines, Late harvest wines
Rice- Pinot Grigio/Gris, Chardonnay, Sparkling Wines
Salmon- Dry Rose’s, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sparkling Rose’s
Salty- Sparkling Wine, Riesling, Zinfandel
Sausage- Riesling, Beaujolais, Zinfandel, Sangiovese
Scallops- Riesling, Blanc de Blancs Champagne, Chardonnay
Squash- Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir
Shrimp- Riesling, Dry Rose’s, Pinot Noir
Spinach- Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Beaujolais
Turkey- Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Dry Rose’s
Vanilla- Sparkling wines, Chardonnay, Oaked wines
Veal- Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Aged Reds
Zucchini- Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese
Source: The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Wine & Food Pairing Jaclyn Stuart & Jeannette Hurt