How to Pair Wine and Food

You might often not put a great deal of thought into which bottle of wine you pull from the rack as you serve up dinner. Perhaps you follow the basic ideas of red wine for red meat and white for white meat?

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Pairing your wine and food doesn’t have to be complicated, and there are just a few easy rules to follow in order to awaken your taste buds and impress dinner guests with your sommelier skills.

Where to Start?

One of the easiest rules to adopt is stay in the same location. It makes sense that the flavours of the country will complement each other, and while this isn’t an in-depth science, it is a simple rule to follow.

When serving up an Italian dish, choose an Italian wine. Look at any restaurant menu and you’ll find their recommendations follow this rule. An Italian restaurant in Dublin such as will offer a great variety of Italian wines.

What’s Your Flavour?

Consider how much of a punch your meal packs. If you’ve got a delicate dish, then a sparkling white wine will pair nicely, whereas a big strong steak deserves a strong red. Alternatively, a spicy curry might be too much with a spicy-tasting wine, so here you could go the other way and try a refreshing sweet white.

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Please Your Mouth

Here’s where the science comes in to play. Fatty meats are washed down well with tannic wines such as Cabernet and Bordeaux, as they clean the proteins from your mouth and keep your palette refreshed.

Sweet and Savoury

Salty dishes, usually appetisers, work very well with a crisp dry champagne. Alternatively, try pairing a savoury dish with a sweet dessert wine to balance the tastes.

Down to Earth

Dishes with very earthy flavours such as mushrooms, potatoes and duck suit wines known for their earthy characteristics such as Pinot Noir, French Burgundy and Barolo. In this case it’s better to match flavour for flavour, and these wines are known for their down-to-earth tastes.

If all else fails and your dinner menu is too complex to match wines, refer to The Wine Society’s food matcher, where you can input your menu and get wine recommendations.

Take on board these simple considerations and you’ll soon be serving your food and wine like a pro.

About the author


The writer of this article currently manages his own blog and is managing to do well by mixing online marketing and traditional marketing practices into one.

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