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December 14, 2022 7 min read

First, and most important, you can drink any wine you choose with any food you like. The most important part about wine, food, cocktails (and maybe life in general), is finding what makes you happy. However, there are some classic wine pairings that many people find enjoyable, and winemakers have in mind when they're producing. The traditional pairings we think of include red wine with steak or lamb, white wine with seafood or chicken, and sparkling wine with light appetizers. But with so many nuances and varietals, it's important to understand that there's so much more to pairings than just white, red, and sparkling. To help you get started, our Experts have highlighted some of their favorites below. There are endless possibilities, so experiment with the food and wine pairings and find what you enjoy the most!

Champagne & Oysters

Champagne and oysters are a classic pairing for a reason. Not only do they both taste great, but they also have complementary textures. The bubbles in the Champagne add a refreshing crispness that goes well with the salty flavor. At the same time, the oysters' smoothness offsets the Champagne's acidity. Additionally, thisscientific report shows that Champagne and oysters are considered aphrodisiacs so this pairing will get your date's attention!

Umami, the fifth taste that encompasses savory flavors like meat and cheese, makes the Champagne and oyster pairing so potent. The umami synergy between the two ingredients creates a flavor explosion in your mouth that is simply irresistible.

Cabernet Sauvignon & Steak

A big, juicy steak is perfect for a hearty red wine like cabernet sauvignon. The intense flavor of the steak will stand up to the boldness of the cabernet, and the wine's tannins will help cut through the meat's richness. This classic wine and food pairing are sure to please any palate.

Some claim that cabernet sauvignon is the ultimate wine for steak due to its rich flavor and velvety texture. This pairing works particularly well with grass-fed beef, which has a much more intense umami flavor than conventional meat. So whether you're enjoying a ribeye or filet mignon, try a glass of cabernet sauvignon and savor the rich, meaty flavors this classic wine and food pairing offers.Unfortunately, a mistake people make is to mismatch sweet wines with the food. So be careful to not make that mistake, and enjoy the yummy pairing!

Sauternes & Foie Gras

Sauternes is a dessert wine, also known as noble rot. This unique fungus causes the grapes to fade and the sugar levels to spike, resulting in an intensely sweet wine. 

The rich, buttery flavor of foie gras pairs perfectly with Sauternes' sweet, honey-like flavors. The two ingredients create a delicious and indulgent experience that will please any palate. So next time you're enjoying a glass of Sauternes, be sure to appreciate all the hard work that goes into making this delicious wine!

Sancerre & Goat Cheese

Sancerre is the perfect wine for goat cheese. The Sancerre's bright and acidic flavors cut through the cheese's richness. In contrast, the fruity flavors complement the tangy taste of goat cheese. This classic wine and food pairing are sure to impress your guests.

So next time you're enjoying a cheese plate, try a glass of Sancerre and experience the delicious flavors this classic wine and food pairing offers! Sancerre is a perfect choice to give you an experience of bold and rich flavors.

Provence Rosé & Niçoise Salad

Niçoise salad comes with tomatoes, green beans, potatoes, eggs, olives, and anchovies. The salad is often dressed with a vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar, olive oil, and Dijon mustard.

Provence rosé is a light and refreshing wine that pairs perfectly with the salty and bitter components of the Niçoise salad. The light and fruity flavors of the rosé wine complement the tomatoes, green beans, and olives in the salad.

Chablis & Oysters

The Chablis region, once covered by the ocean, now has soils made up of clay and limestone. This unique combination of soils gives the Chablis wines distinctive minerality and sharp acidity. 

The salty and briny flavors of the oysters are a perfect match for the minerality and acidity of the Chablis wines. The two ingredients create a delicious and flavorful experience that is sure to please any palate. So next time you're enjoying a plate of oysters, be sure to try a glass of Chablis and experience the delicious flavors that this classic wine and food pairing has to offer!

Pinot Noir & Salmon

If you're only serving white wine with light seafood dishes, you're missing out on a delicious wine and food pairing opportunity. Pinot Noir is a light, fruity red wine that pairs perfectly with salmon. The bright and acidic flavors of the Pinot Noir wine complement the salty and fatty flavors of the salmon. The fruity flavors in the wine helps balance the fish's richness.

Grüner Veltliner & Asparagus

Next time you're in the mood for some asparagus, try a glass of Grüner Veltliner and experience the delicious flavors this classic wine and food pairing offers. According toFiona Beckett, the light and fruity flavors of the Grüner Veltliner wine complement the salty and bitter components of the asparagus while the acidity in the wine helps cut through the ingredients' richness. Grüner Veltliner is an ideal wine for pairing with springtime dishes like asparagus.

Chianti & Pasta with Ragù

Chianti and pasta with ragù are a classic Italian wine and food pairing. The rich and flavorful sauce pairs perfectly with the fruity and acidic flavors of the Chianti wine, while the hearty pasta dish is sure to satisfy any appetite. So be sure to add Chianti and pasta with ragù to your next wine and food pairing menu.

Oaked Chardonnay & Lobster

If your lobster entrée is served cold, wine expert Fiona Beckett advises picking a more delicate wine. A light and fruity white wine like Riesling or Pinot Grigio would be the perfect pairing for a cold lobster dish, while a bolder and richer white wine like Chardonnay would be better suited for a hot lobster dish. So be sure to keep this information in mind when choosing a wine to pair with your next lobster entrée. Oaked Chardonnay is an excellent choice, as its bold, buttery flavors help to bring out the rich flavors of lobster while complementing this staple seafood dish's delicate and salty components.

Zinfandel & BBQ

Zinfandel is a bold and fruity red wine that is perfect for pairing with BBQ-style dishes. The intense flavors of the zinfandel wine are an ideal match for the smoky and spicy BBQ flavors. At the same time, the high alcohol content balances out the richness of the food. Bring a bottle of zinfandel to your next BBQ for a traditional American combo. 

Whether you're grilling up ribs, brisket, or pulled pork, Zinfandel is the perfect wine to enjoy alongside these smoky and savory dishes. So next time you're enjoying a BBQ plate, try a glass of Zinfandel and experience the delicious flavors this classic wine and pairing food offers.

Off-Dry Riesling & Spicy Thai Food

Fiona Beckettrecommends trying a glass of off-dry Riesling with your next spicy Thai dish. Here is a reason why. The Riesling's light and fruity flavors help balance Thai food's spiciness. In contrast, the high acidity in the wine helps cut through the richness of the ingredients. Off-dry Riesling is ideal for pairing with spicy dishes like Thai food. Whether cooking up a hearty curry or ordering takeout from your favorite Thai restaurant, an off-dry Riesling is a perfect wine to enjoy alongside these spicy and flavorful dishes. Try an off-dry Riesling and spicy Thai food if you want a delicious and easy-to-pair wine for your next dinner party.

Burgundy Pinot Noir & Coq au Vin

For a delicious and hearty wine to pair with your next Coq au Vin dish, look no further than a Burgundy Pinot Noir. The rich and flavorful flavors of the wine perfectly match the savory and hearty stew that is Coq au Vin. In contrast, the high alcohol content in the wine helps balance the richness of the food. 

Bring Burgundy Pinot Noir to your next Coq au Vin dinner party. Prepare to enjoy a delicious and classic French wine and food pairing.

Dry Riesling & Sushi

Sushi is a popular Japanese dish that is made with raw seafood. While there are many types of sushi, all variations typically consist of fish, rice, and vegetables. Sushi can be enjoyed as a light appetizer or main course and is often served with soy sauce and pickled ginger.

If you're looking for a delicious and easy-to-pair wine for your next sushi dinner party, try a dry Riesling. The Riesling's light and fruity flavors help balance the richness of the sushi rolls, while the high acidity in the wine helps cut through the fish's flavor. So whether cooking up a hearty sushi roll or ordering takeout from your favorite Japanese restaurant, dry Riesling is the perfect wine to enjoy alongside these flavorful dishes.

Barbera & Pizza

Have a delicious Barbera wine for your next pizza dinner party! The rich and fruity flavors of the Barbera are a perfect match for the tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese in a Margherita pizza. At the same time, the high alcohol content in the wine helps balance the richness of the food. 

Syrah & Game Meat

When you're cooking up a juicy steak or rack of lamb, open a Syrah bottle to pair with it. The rich and peppery flavors of the Syrah will complement the gamey flavors of the meat. The high alcohol content in the wine also helps balance the richness of the food. 

Red Wine & Chocolate

When pairing chocolate and red wine, it's essential to understand their subtle differences. While chocolate and red wine are earthy and intense flavors, they can often be too powerful when paired together. As a result, it's essential to choose a chocolate that will pair well with red wine and vice versa.

For example, rich and bitter dark chocolate will pair well with a bold and tannic red wine, while milk chocolate will pair well with a light and fruity red wine. This perfect wine and chocolate pairing is a fantastic combo for the whole year. With this understanding, you'll be able to create the perfect wine and chocolate pairing for any occasion.

We'll Organize The Best Wine Tasting (and Food Pairing) Experience For You!

AtNight Inn, we provide our customers with the best, on-demand wine-tasting experiences, and work with you to build meaningful relationships through the food and wines we'll share together. We have a wide variety of wines available, including with every varietal of red, white, sparkling, and dessert wines in our inventory. We can offer classic cheese pairings, or get adventurous and help you cater a meal in like some of the above. And our knowledgeable and friendly Experts are always available to help you customize your evening and choose the perfect wine for your next party or event. Contact us today to get started! 


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