Holiday Food and Wine Pairing 101

Test your wine terminology. What is a wine expert called?  There are basically three different names and I will explain the differences to you at the end of this article!

 Okay, here are a few pointers to help you select the right wine pairing to match your food.  As you know, there are as many possible wine and food pairings as there are individuals in this world, the number is infinite!

 The basic rules of thumb when picking a wine to match your meal is to balance the natural flavors of the food.  What do I mean? It’s basically common sense.  If you are having spicy, flavorful food you should pair it with a flavorful, spicy wine. And if you are having a mild, neutral dish, you should pair it with a neutral, mild wine. It’s not rocket science. So here are some ideas and examples:

 A rich, creamy pasta dish would be best matched with a rich Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc.

 An acidic tomato pasta dish works well with a high acidity wine like Chianti.  However, the same Chianti would overpower a mild creamy pasta or seafood dish.  So try to match the acidic level of your food to the acidity level of your wine.

 A beef dish is considered a bit fatty, but flavorful, and would pair best with charismatic red wines like Cabernets, Merlots or Zinfandels. 

 Red wines naturally contain tannins which have an astringent flavor.  Tannins cleanse your palate and make your mouth pucker when you drink it.  Meat and Steak dishes, which are usually higher in fat, can benefit from the property of tannins as a palate cleanser.  This leaves your mouth clear and ready to fully enjoy the next bite.

 Acidity in white wines achieves the same affects as the tannins in red wine. You’d want to pair an acidic white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc with a fatty type dish. 

 I hope these wine and food pairing tips and guidelines are useful but be sure to experiment for yourself.  Try a few different wines with you dish so you can pick the one that you like the best. The purpose of food and wine pairing is for you to increase you and your guests own enjoyment of the meal. Don’t be afraid to try different pairings.  If it breaks the “rules”, who cares! Drink what you like best! For more information on food and wine pairing visit the website They have a great tool that allows you to choose specific foods and then recommends what wine to serve with it.

 Okay, so what is a wine expert called?

A sommelier is an expert of tastings and pairings, usually at the restaurant level.

A oeneologist is an expert of the science behind making wine.

A master vintner is an expert wine make and may also be referred to as an oeneologist.

 After spending so much time in the kitchen pairing food and wine you may need to have your kitchen cabinets restored. Visit for more information about cabinet options.





Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *