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Food and Wine Matching Guide

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sparkling wine

white wine


red wine

dessert wine

Sparkling wine

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Sparkling white
Sparkling rose
Sparkling red

Sparkling white wine like Champagne, Cava and Prosecco has spritely flavours and a palate-cleansing acidity that pairs well with salty foods, deep-fried foods, creamy sauces and Asian or Indian-style dishes. Here are some options for foods to try:

  • Appetisers: Stuffed mushrooms, melon balls with smoked ham, foie gras, potato chips, prosciutto, and sushi
  • Seafood: Oysters, prawns, shellfish, fried calamari, caviar, smoked fish like salmon or trout and fried fish
  • Meat: Beef Kung Pao
  • Poultry: Eggs, chicken breast
  • Cheese: Fontina, goats cheese, gorgonzola, cambozola, triple cream brie, and ricotta
  • Dessert: Fruit cake and other fruit-based desserts

Sparkling rosés often have a little bit more body and fruitier flavors than white sparkling wines, making them especially versatile when pairing with food. They pair well with Asian and Eastern flavours and less sweet, fruity desserts. Try them with dishes like:

  • Appetisers: Puff-pastry tomato tarts, tapas, proscuitto, smoked ham canapés, sushi
  • Seafood: Grilled lobster, smoked salmon, grilled fish, shellfish
  • Vegetables: Mushrooms
  • Meat: Braised pork, grilled or roast rare lamb
  • Poultry: Chicken schnitzel, barbequed chicken
  • Game: Pigeon, pheasant
  • Cheese: Double or triple cream brie, goats cheese
  • Dessert: Fruit tarts, rhubarb and strawberry crumble, raspberries, choc-dipped strawberries

Red bubbly like sparkling Shiraz or sparkling Cabernet is a versatile accompaniment to food - perfect for morning, afternoon, and night. Pair with bacon and eggs over an alfresco brunch, an Asian feast or spicy foods, or Christmas dinner. Some other great matches include:

  • Seafood: Seared tuna
  • Meat: Ham, kangaroo
  • Poultry: Peking or Chinese roast duck, roast turkey with cranberry sauce, goose
  • Game: Venison
  • Dessert: Pavlova served with fresh fruits, fruit cake, Christmas pudding

Lambrusco, with its light sparkle, also goes well with pork, cold meats like salami, prosciutto, or mortadella, Italian-style sausages, lasagne, grilled chicken, grilled lamb, pulled pork, and cheeses like pecorino and parmigiano.

White wine

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Dry white

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Sauvignon Blanc
Pinot Grigio

As a dry wine, Sémillon displays a beeswax character with notes of figs and melon, and possesses relatively low acidity. It often works with the same foods as Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio. Pair Sémillon with simple preparations of chicken, fish, and shellfish. Also try it with:

  • Seafood: Scallops, oysters (especially with an Asian dressing), clams, seafood salad, sashimi, fried soft shell crab, salt and pepper squid, and smoked fish like salmon, trout and kedgeree
  • Vegetables: Fennel
  • Meat: Thickly sliced ham off the bone, pork satay
  • Poultry: Chicken with a creamy sauce, chicken satay
  • Cheese: Goats cheese

Sauvignon Blanc, with its herbaceous flavours like capscicum and jalapeño, pairs well with green herbs. Foods with parsley, rosemary, basil, coriander or mint will make a great pairing. Also try it with:

  • Appetisers: Raw or barely cooked tomato, like gazpacho, sushi
  • Seafood: Oysters, garlic prawns, crab, grilled or fried fish, sashimi, smoked or grilled salmon, grilled squid, scallops
  • Vegetables: Spring vegetables like asparagus and peas
  • Meat: Ham, grilled lamb, veal in a creamy sauce
  • Poultry: Grilled Greek or Mexican chicken
  • Cheese: Goats cheese

Pinot Grigio has crisp, fresh, vibrant stone fruit and floral aromas and a touch of spice. Pair with:

  • Appetisers: Antipasti like marinated octopus or vegetables, sushi
  • Seafood: Fried fish and chips, seafood salad
  • Vegetables: Peas, asparagus, fennel
  • Sauces: Light pasta sauces with cream or fresh tomato

Sweet white

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Chenin Blanc

Traditionally Riesling is sweet, with aromas of nectarine, apricot, honey-crisp apple and pear. Its balance of acidity, minerality, and fruit makes it an especially good match for spicy foods. Also try it with:

  • Seafood: Prawns, crab
  • Vegetables: Roasted vegetables, and veggies with natural sweetness including red onion, capsicum, eggplant, squash and carrot
  • Meat: Sautéed german sausages with bacon and apple sauerkraut, barbequed ribs
  • Poultry: Red chicken curry, barbequed chicken, spiced duck leg
  • Cheese: Less stinky and delicately flavored soft cow’s milk cheese, gouda, gorgonzola, blue cheeses
  • Dessert: Apple crumble, vanilla ice cream

Traditional Chenin Blanc wines from France are off-dry (sweet). Because of Chenin Blanc’s acidity, zestiness and inherent sweetness, it pairs well with foods that have a sweet and sour element. It also pairs particularly well with Mediterranean food, Southeast Asian cuisine, sushi and even hearty meats like veal. Try it with:

  • Seafood: Smoked salmon
  • Vegetables: Squash, shallot, chives, savoy cabbage, sweet potato, carrot, cauliflower, oyster mushrooms, corn, red capsicum
  • Meat: Pork chop with apples, veal
  • Poultry: Turkey
  • Cheese: Soft to semi-firm cow’s milk cheeses such as triple-cream brie, gruyere, cream cheese, yoghurt, cheddar, and herb-crusted goat cheeses
  • Dessert: Apple or pear tarts, peach or apricot flavoured desserts

Rich white

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Viogniers are seductive white wines, lush with peach and honeysuckle scents, a round, mouth-filling texture and little acidity. They pair well with mild creamy southeast Asian curries, and dishes with ginger, saffron, cinnamon and coconut. Try with:

  • Seafood: Seared scallops, grilled lobster, baked crab
  • Vegetables: Sweet root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes and butternut squash
  • Meat: Beef korma, lamb tagine
  • Poultry: Chicken Pad Thai, Coronation chicken
  • Game: Rabbit with a creamy sauce
  • Cheese: Creamy and buttery cheeses

Chardonnay has complex fruit flavours and often a rich, creamy texture. It pairs well with:

  • Appetisers: Sushi
  • Seafood: Shellfish, oysters, white-fleshed fish, fish pâtés, sashimi, fish pie, fish cakes, lobster, scallops
  • Vegetables: Creamy vegetable soup, corn, pumpkin, squash, slow roast tomatoes
  • Meat: Steak béarnaise, grilled veal with mushrooms
  • Poultry: Mild chicken curries, eggs benedict
  • Sauces: Cream and butter sauces
  • Cheese: Cheddar
  • Dessert: Nuts


Rosés combine the rich fruit of red wine with the refreshing, low-tannin nature of white. There are a range of different types of Rosés, but overall they pair well with:

  • Appetisers: Olives, charcuterie, pâtés, terrines, gazpacho
  • Seafood: Shellfish, crab, lobster, grilled fish, anchovies, paella, seared salmon, tuna
  • Vegetables: Artichokes, asparagus, avocado, eggplant, courgettes
  • Meat: Grilled or roast rare lamb with herbs
  • Poultry: Grilled chicken, cold chicken like terrine and salads, duck
  • Sauces: Spicy or Asian-influenced foods, pesto
  • Cheese: Goats cheese, brie
  • Dessert: Strawberries

Red wine

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Light Red

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Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir has appealing fresh acidity and delicate ripe fruits, with velvety tannins. Pair it with:

  • Appetisers: Olives, charcuterie, ham and other cold meats, patés and terrines, bruschetta
  • Vegetables: Asparagus, roasted capsicum, sweet onions, beetroot, tomatoes, peas, mushrooms, eggplant
  • Meat: Veal saltimbocca, steak, rack of lamb, roast pork with fennel, glazed ham
  • Poultry: Duck dishes like breast, casserole, Peking or pancakes, turkey, goose
  • Game: Pheasant, pigeon, rabbit stew in tomato sauce
  • Cheese: Goat cheese, brie, milder blue cheeses
  • Dessert: Blueberries, orange, cherries, figs

The spice in Grenache makes it a perfect pairing buddy to spiced and herb foods including roasted meats, vegetables and many ethnic foods like Indian and Moroccan dishes. Also try it with:

  • Vegetables: Tomato, eggplant, caramelised roast root vegetables like carrots, beets and parsnips
  • Meat: Long slow cooked roasts of pork or lamb
  • Poultry: Turkey
  • Game: Guineafowl, pheasant or pigeon
  • Sauces: Stews with dark, winey sauces
  • Cheese: Blue cheese
  • Dessert: Chocolate, grilled figs

Red Beaujolais displays low tannins and high acid, making it an ideal red wine partner with fish, such as grilled salmon, and an excellent contrast to foods that are oily, fatty, or high in salt.

  • Appetisers: French charcuterie such as patés, terrines, sushi
  • Seafood: Seared tuna and salmon
  • Meat: Beef stroganoff, grilled pork, lamb or veal, steak tartare
  • Poultry: Cold turkey and chicken, chicken salad, seared duck breast with fruit like cherries or figs
  • Game: Guineafowl or partridge
  • Cheese: White-rinded cheeses such as brie and camembert
  • Sauces: Creamy sauces
  • Dessert: Strawberries

Medium red

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With its dryness and high acidity, Sangiovese is extremely food-friendly and works in situations that can otherwise be difficult, like with dishes containing acidic tomato sauces, like pizzas and pastas. Also pair with:

  • Vegetables: Herbs, tomatoes
  • Meat: Rich roasted meat, cured sausages, pork ragu, veal in red wine
  • Cheese: Hard cheeses

Merlot is smooth, with easy tannins and a soft finish that mean it pairs well with many foods. Try with chicken and other light meats, lightly-spiced dark meats, as well as:

  • Appetisers: Charcuterie (e.g. pâtés, terrines and salamis)
  • Meat: Italian-style sausages with fennel, spaghetti and meatballs, baked pasta dishes such as lasagne, meatloaf, cheeseburgers, braised ribs, steak in red wine sauce, grilled veal, pork or lamb chops (especially with herbs like thyme, rosemary and oregano), roast rack of lamb served pink
  • Poultry: Grilled chicken with Mediterranean grilled veggies, roast turkey, Chinese style crispy duck pancakes
  • Sauces: Pizza and other toasted cheese dishes such as panini and quesadillas, pasta dishes with tomato-based sauces (especially with pancetta/bacon or mushrooms), casseroles with a fruity element such as apricots or prunes
  • Cheese: Mild to medium (but not very strongly flavoured) hard cheeses

Bold red

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Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied red wine with dark fruit flavours and savoury tastes from black pepper to capsicum. Being a complex, layered wine with high tannins, it pairs well with foods high in fat and savoury or ‘umami’ flavours.

  • Vegetables: Mushrooms, roasted eggplant, potatoes
  • Meat: Burger, marinated ribeye steak, braised ribs or lamb, beef stew, rack of lamb, osso bucco, Korean-style beef
  • Game: Venison
  • Sauces: Pasta dishes with cream sauces
  • Cheese: Aromatic cheeses like Roquefort, blue and camembert

Unlike Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec doesn’t have a long finish, which means it pairs well with leaner red meats. It also does extremely well with funky flavours like blue cheese, rustic flavours like mushrooms and cumin, and Mexican favourites like fajitas, burritos and chilli con carne. Try with:

  • Appetisers: Charcuterie, especially flavourful terrines
  • Vegetables: Mushroom, roasted vegetables, capsicum, potato, kale, onion, beetroot, lentils, black beans
  • Meat: Beef brisket, smokey cured beef, burgers, lamb shanks, pork shoulder, spaghetti and meatballs, medium hot lamb curries like rogan josh or lamb tagines with prunes
  • Poultry: Duck confit, chicken leg
  • Game: Ostrich, buffalo, venison, pheasant
  • Cheese: Rich soft to semi-firm cow’s and goat’s milk cheeses, cheddar

Syrah or Shiraz has a wide range of tastes (and a different name!) depending on where it grows. Despite regional differences though, there are some simple tricks to pairing it with food. Often being the darkest, most full-bodied red wine, foods need to be bold to stand up to it. Fatty foods and barbequed flavours work great due to the high tannins in the wine. Try:

  • Meat: Grilled lamb, lamb shawarma, gyros, barbequed pork, grilled pepper steak with chips, beef stew
  • Game: Venison, game birds
  • Cheese: Softer stinkier cheeses, like blue cheese

Dessert wine

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Late harvest

Being a fortified wine, sherry is great as an aperitif, with tapas, or with dessert, and it also goes great in the cooking itself. Try with:

  • Appetizers: Almonds, olives, mushrooms stuffed with blue cheese
  • Seafood: Shellfish, smoked fish
  • Cheese: Mild cheeses
  • Dessert: Spanish flan, chocolate

Late harvest wines are made from grapes left on the vine longer than usual, allowing them to get riper and riper. As the grapes dehydrate, their flavours are concentrated and they take on more sweetness. These kinds of wines are great with:

  • Appetisers: Fresh or dried figs, almond paste, hazelnuts, walnuts
  • Cheeses: Blue cheese
  • Desserts: Pear tarte tatin, crème brûlée, baked apple desserts

There are a range of styles of port, from those you keep for decades to others you can drink on the spot. Either way, there are many a perfect marriage with the sweetness of port. Try:

  • Appetisers: Salted nuts, chicken or duck liver parfait, other meaty pâtés and terrines, dried hams
  • Game: Feathered game like pheasant and partridge
  • Cheese: Sheep's cheeses, mature gouda, parmesan
  • Dessert: Portuguese tarts; crème caramel; pecan, almond or walnut tart or cakes; apple, pear or banana tatin; cheesecake; ginger-flavoured cakes and puddings; dark, bitter chocolate and chocolate truffles; biscotti

What’s cooking?

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pasta and risotto







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When vegetables are roasted, they lose their earthy flavours and gain a caramelised sweetness. Chenin Blanc’s rich texture goes well with roasted squash, carrots, cauliflower or parsnips.

Green vegetables have a natural leanness to them which goes perfectly with a fuller wine. Pair with a Chardonnay or Chablis.

The earthiness of potatoes matches perfectly with Pinot Noir. If you’re having potato soup, you could also try a Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc. Or if you just want something to match with your plain potato crisps, go for a Champagne or sparkling wine, whose high acidity and bubbles perfectly complements the salt and fat in the chips.

Mushrooms are a great companion to wine, flattering wines as disparate as Pinot Noir, vintage Champagne and Cabernet Sauvignon. If cooking mushrooms in a creamy sauce, mirror the creamy texture with an oak-aged Chardonnay. For mushroom in a tomato sauce, try a Sangiovese or Chianti Classico.

Fight the acidity of the tomatoes with mildly acidic wines - and not too much, if any, oak. Try Sauvignon Blanc, Beaujolais, Rioja, and Italian white wines like Verdicchio, Pinot Grigio, and Albarino. For slow-roasted tomatoes, which become sweet and retain just a little bit of their natural tartness, pair with a dark-fruited rosé.

Pasta and risotto

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Tomato-based pasta sauce
Creamy pasta sauce

Risotto can be paired with a variety of wines, depending on the sauce and toppings used. For vegetable, seafood or clam risotto, use a dry crisp or light dry white wine. For a risotto with butternut squash try a rich white wine like a Viognier or barrel-matured Chardonnay. Creamy risottos pair best with Prosecco and Champagne.

Tomato-based pastas like spaghetti bolognese pair well with a Zinfandel or a medium-bodied Italian red wine like Chianti, Sangiovese and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. If you’d prefer a white wine, try a dry Italian white like Verdicchio.

To offset creamy sauces like carbonara, pair with a wine like Soave, Pinot Bianco, Sicilian whites and lighter Chardonnay or Chardonnay blends. Cheesey sauces go well with crisp dry whites such as Verdicchio, light Chardonnays or light reds such as Merlot.

Classic lasagne is great with a medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, a Syrah/Malbec blend, Chardonnay, Champagne, Red Burgundy or Pinot Noir. Vegetarian lasagnes with spinach pair with an Italian white wine like Gavi, and those with pumpkin go with a richer white wine like Viognier or oak-aged Chardonnay. Fish lasagnes go with a smooth creamy Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, or a fuller Italian white wine like a Soave.


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When serving lean, white fish, a dry, crisp wine like Chenin Blanc or Pinot Grigio is perfect. For fried fish, sparkling wine is the best compliment. Light reds like Pinot Noir, Sangiovese and Grenache do well with fatty, meaty, big-flavored fish like salmon, tuna, marlin, swordfish, mackerel, or bluefish.

Lobster should be matched with a wine which complements and accentuates its delicate, sweet, succulent nature. Red wines are not a good choice because the tannins do not react well with the iodine found in lobster. White wines, especially those with more mineral and vegetable notes, work better than fruit-oriented wines. Try pairing with Viognier, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or a vintage Champagne.

The briny minerality of a Muscadet pairs perfectly with the fresh sea salt of an oyster on the half shell. Other dry white wines also match with oysters, as do Chablis, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. And of course, there’s nothing quite so classic (and delicious) as oysters with dry Champagne.

Prawns have a delicate flavour that you want to respect. Your wine should act like a squeeze of fresh lemon, which generally points to a white or a crisp rosé. Unoaked fresh whites like Muscadet, Pinot Grigio, Vinho Verde, or Albarino work well, and prosecco or other sparkling wine is also great. Red wines do not make a good match, as the tannins in red clash with the soft texture and gentle flavour of this shellfish.

Grilled or seared scallops match well with white burgundy, Chenin Blanc, or Champagne. Scallops with a creamy sauce pair with Chardonnay (especially Chablis) and scallops served with an Asian-style dressing are perfect with a dry riesling. Scallops with pancetta or chorizo can be served with a lightly chilled light red wine like Pinot Noir or Beaujolais.

Fried calamari goes well with dry Riesling or sparkling wine, while grilled squid with lemon pairs with Chardonnay. Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay or sparkling wine match well with squid ink pasta.


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Barbequed, Fried, or Grilled
Exotic Flavours

Roast chicken has the benefit of matching with both red and white wines. Try an rich creamy white like an oaked Chardonnay, or a light red like Pinot Noir. If you’re serving a dark savoury gravy with the chicken, go for a medium-bodied red like a Côtes du Rhône.

Barbequed chicken pairs with Shiraz, Grenache or Zinfandel. While grilled chicken with herbs goes great with a dry white like Beaujolais, fried chicken matches well with Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and sparkling wines.

For any Asian style dishes such as Thai green chicken curry, stir-fries, sweet and sour chicken, Chicken tikka masala, or Asian-style noodle dishes, try a medium-dry Riesling or a Pinot Gris. If your chicken dish is spicy, it will pair well with fruity rosés. Mexican-style chicken matches well with Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and sparkling wines.

If you’re cooking chicken in a creamy sauce, like a creamy chicken and mushroom pie, a cheesy pasta dish like chicken tetrazzini, chicken caesar salad, or a mild chicken curry like a korma, try a lightly oaked Chardonnay, oaked Chenin Blanc, or a Viognier. Chicken in a red wine sauce matches well with Burgundy or a red wine from Rhône or Languedoc.


Turkey matches with a full-bodied white like a Chardonnay or white southern Rhône, or a medium-full red wine. The lack of fat in turkey means the wine must not have too much tannin, as tannins react with fatty protein molecules and will seem harsh in the absence of fat. If serving turkey with cranberry or redcurrant sauces, try a young, ripe, fruity wine low in tannins, like a Californian Zinfandel or a Beaujolais Cru. When serving in summer, try turkey with a sparkling Shiraz, which matches with both hot and cold turkey. Cold turkey also matches with Pinot Noir, chilled Cru Beaujolais or Beaujolais Villages.


Duck is a fatty meat that tends to need a wine with some sharpness and acidity to cut through and some ripe fruit to contrast with the rich flesh. Pinot Noir is often recommended as the perfect pairing for duck. Other options are Merlot, Chianti, or Beaujolais. Or if you’d rather serve a white, try a late harvest Riesling.


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Lean Cuts
Fatty Cuts
Stews & Casseroles

When pairing wines with leaner cuts like eye fillet, sirloin tip side steak, top round roast, bottom round roast, or top sirloin, look for light or medium-bodied red wines. These wines should have slightly higher acidity that will cut through the texture of the lean meat. A general rule to follow is to match the intensity of the dish with the wine; so if it’s top sirloin beef stew, a slightly bolder, medium red such as Sangiovese will pair nicely.

Red wine tastes good with beef because of the interplay between the tannins in the wine and the protein in the meat. Fatty meats, especially, go great with bold red wines that have high tannin. The tannin is an astringent which works as a palate cleanser to ’scrape’ the fattiness from the inside of our mouth. Bold reds, like Barolo or a Napa Cabernet, work well with fattier cuts like hanger steak, filet mignon, porterhouse steak, skirt steak, New York strip, t-bone steak, and rib eye steak.

Roast beef is one of the most uncomplicated dishes to match with wine. You can really drink any medium- to full-bodied red with it. Try a Bordeaux, or other Cabernet/Merlot or Malbec blend, or a Syrah/Shiraz. If you are cooking the meat rarer, it will go well with tannins and high levels of alcohol, and suits young, full-bodied reds. For beef that’s cooked longer, older, more delicate reds are better. The sauce also affects the pairing - if it’s wine-based, it tends to suit full-bodied youthful reds like Syrah/Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon, while if it’s served with gravy you’re better off with a more classic wine like a red Bordeaux or a Rioja.

Beef-based stews, from classic French Beef Bourguignon to homely beef goulash, are rich dishes that demand an equally rich wine, but one with some elegance and acidity. A good red Burgundy from France, a Californian Pinot Noir, a Spanish Rioja, an Australian Shiraz or a big Californian Zinfandel would all be good partners. Other wines that have sufficient tannins to counter the richness and tenderness of stewed beef include Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Veal is one of the few red meats that can match with white and rosé wine. The classic Viennese dish, wiener schnitzel, goes perfectly with Austrian Grüner Veltliner. You can also try pairing veal with lighter reds such as Pinot Noir, Rosé of Sangiovese, Valpolicella, and Zinfandel.

Tangy sauces like BBQ, Mongolian or Hoisin go well with fruity reds like Lambrusco, Australian Shiraz, Californian Syrah, or Zinfandel. Asian beef dishes also pair wonderfully with sparkling rosé. Brown sauces like Bordelaise or red wine sauce should be paired with more earthy, bold red wines like a Bordeaux, while tomato-based sauces need medium-bodied red wines with enough acidity to match the tomatoes, like Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Tempranillo. With a peppercorn sauce, choose a wine with peppery notes such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz, and with stroganoff opt for an earthy French Syrah. With Béarnaise sauce, look for a bold red with more acidity, such as a Bordeaux or Chilean Cabernet.


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Ham, Bacon or Sausages
Ribs & Pork Belly

The fruit and acidity of off-dry German Rieslings balance the smoke and salt in ham and bacon, and a fruity young Californian Merlot will also work with baked ham. With Italian or Spanish ham or charcuterie, try a dry rosé or a juicy Grenache-based red from the south of France. Rieslings from Alsace, rich Pinot Gris, spicy Viognier or aged Semillon all have the weight to stand up to sausages.

Good matches for roast pork include Pinot Noir from California, red Burgundy from France, red Ribera del Duero from Spain or full-bodied reds from the Rhône in France. For a traditional roast pork with apple sauce, you could also try whites like Chenin Blanc or off-dry Riesling.

Bold pork dishes with lots of crispy fat or tomato-based sauces require a spicy red with acidity and low tannins, like a medium-bodied Zinfandel. For braised pork belly, enhance the spices with a soft, peppery Shiraz.

When serving grilled pork like a pork chop, try a dry Italian white, a Chianti, a full-flavored Californian Pinot Noir or a spicy Australian Shiraz.

For pork in a creamy sauce or with mushrooms or mustard, serve a red burgundy, an oaked Chardonnay, an Alsace Riesling, a Pinot Gris or other white wines like Chenin Blanc or off-dry German Riesling. Sweet and sour pork pairs well with rosé, off-dry Riesling, or an elegant Chardonnay or Semillion-Chardonnay. For barbeque sauces, try a semi-dry California Riesling or a chilled white Zinfandel. Pork stews such as a Cassoulet require a simple medium-bodied red, and goulash goes well with a rustic red like a Rioja.


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Chops & Cutlets
Stews & Shanks

A classic match for roast lamb would be a mature red Bordeaux from France, a Californian Cabernet Sauvignon or a red Rioja Reserva from Spain. Spring lamb served rare with fresh herbs or vegetables will go perfectly with Pinot Noir, Cru Beaujolais or Vintage rosé Champagne. Lamb served medium-rare to well-done, with garlic or rosemary or a wine sauce or gravy will match with a Red Bordeaux, Cabernet, Cabernet/Merlot blend, Rioja Reserva or Rhône. Slow roast shoulder of lamb will also match with a Rhône or a Spanish red such as Ribera del Duero.

Barbequed lamb pairs with Zinfandel, young Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot from California and Rioja. For a Middle Eastern-style kebab with spicy sauces, reach for the brighter flavours of Cabernet Franc, Syrah from California or Shiraz from Australia.

With lamb chops, serve a mature Spanish Rioja, a Californian Cabernet Sauvignon a Merlot. If crumbing your cutlets, try a Shiraz.

A stew with big flavors needs a wine to match it, such as a reserve Chianti from Italy, a Californian Cabernet Sauvignon or a Zinfandel. With a more subtly flavored stew, try a Merlot or Syrah. Typical British/Irish lamb stews, hotpots, or shepherd’s pie also go well with country reds like Côtes du Rhône Villages. Lamb stews such as tagines can be paired with Côtes du Roussillon, Languedoc reds, or Riojas, and lamb curries such as rogan josh pair well with a Zinfandel. Richly flavoured lamb shanks are perfect with Spanish Riojas, Rhône reds from France, Syrah/Shiraz from California or Australia, or a big Zinfandel.


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Depending on the stuffing or sauce, a Pinot Noir, a Beaujolais from France, or a Merlot would all work well with quail. If you prefer a white wine, choose an elegant oaked Chardonnay.

With this fairly mild-flavored meat, try an Italian Chianti, a light red Burgundy or a good Beaujolais from France. For rabbit in mustard sauce, you might like to open a white, such as a Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc.

You will need massive red wine with this rich, flavoursome meat. Try a cru classé French Bordeaux, a Californian Cabernet Sauvignon or a French Rhône.


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Soft cheese
Blue cheese
Hard cheese

Soft cheeses love crisp whites, dry rosés, sparkling wines, dry aperitif wines, and light-bodied reds with low tannins. Wines with apple, berry, stone fruit, tropical, melon, or citrus flavours work best. Avoid big, tannic red wines like Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, and Bordeaux blends. Brie cheese goes well with a fruity dry rosé, a creamy, subtly oaked Chardonnay, and Chardonnay-based sparkling wine. Goats cheese also pairs well with Chardonnay.

Blue cheeses have bold, salty and savoury flavours which should be balanced with wines with oomph and sweetness. Pair with a red Port, Tawny Port or dessert wine.

Harder cheeses love full-bodied whites and tannic reds. Their nuttiness also works with oxidative wines like sherry, and their saltiness makes them terrific with sweet wines. Try with sweet Riesling, Viognier, vintage Champagne, red Burgundy, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon
, and red or Tawny port.


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Fruits & Berries
Vanilla & Custard
Chocolate & Caramel

For fruity desserts, look for wines with flavours of apples, pears, and cinnamon. White wines like Sauternes and pink champagne go well, as do sweet Rieslings, Chardonnay and Sauvignon/Semillons from Australia or Chile. Apple tarts go well with sweet wines, and light fruit-flavoured mousses, parfaits and sorbets match with off-dry Prosecco, Moscato d’Asti and German Riesling. For anything with citrus, remember that acidity kills flavour, so Muscats are the best choice. The classic pairing of orange and chocolate could match with an orange-flavoured Moscatel or a Tawny Port.

For custard and vanilla, you want a mild, light, buttery wine to match, like a late-harvest Riesling or sparkling wine.

For caramel and chocolate desserts, look for wines with dark, buttery, caramelised, rich flavours. Chocolate mousse pairs well with a late harvest Zinfandel, or a sweet red wine like a Shiraz port, while white chocolate mousse is perfect with an off-dry rosé sparkling wine. Chocolate soufflé also pairs well with sparkling wine or rosé, and dark chocolate matches with a sweet red dessert wine like a vintage port. The classic pairing of orange and chocolate could match with an orange-flavoured moscatel or a Tawny Port. Tawny Port, as well as Sherry or Muscat are also good matches for the sweet caramel of sticky toffee pudding.