When attempting to put together the perfect dinner party, pairing the perfect wine with your food may seem more like a science than a sign of being a good host. Fortunately, we’ve put together this easy cheat sheet that can turn you into a shining sommelier in no time. Before you know it you may even be making recommendations for your guests. Remember, you don’t need to splurge on an expensive wine to pair like a pro, it’s just a matter of blending the right tones and flavors.
If you are serving up champagne, cava or prosecco keep the menu light with just a touch of saltiness. Try to avoid spicy foods, or heavy foods like red meat or cream sauces and serve up halibut, eggs or oysters instead. Serving up a chees plate? We love pairing champagne with gruyere.
Additional food suggestions: shrimp, artichoke hearts, or smoked salmon.
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If white meat, earth mushrooms, or salads are on the menu try serving it up with a glass of pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc. Make sure you keep the menu light and tangy and avoid heavy meats or overly strong cheeses like blue cheese, try serving up a nice gouda instead.
Additional food suggestions: Roasted beets, turkey, or spinach.
On nights that you prepare something more decadent like pasta or buttery fish in a creamy sauce, be sure to have a nice chardonnay, vaigner, or Rousanne on hand. Camembert cheese is also a great option to serve as an appetizer. Just be sure to avoid smoked meat, tangy Asian flavors or heavy tomato dishes.
Additional food suggestions: Risotto, stuffed clams, or pesto based dishes.
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You may think these sugary sweet wines go best with fruity desserts (and they do), but you may be surprised to find that they also pair beautifully with spicy foods and curries. Pair an exotic Indian meal with some brie, and a Riesling, moscato, or gewurtzaminer. Just sure to avoid food that are too sweet, and try and keep dark chocolate off the menu.
Additional food suggestions: Moroccan food, naan bread, or strawberry cheesecake
If you are serving French flavors like truffles, buttery white meat, or cured meat offer up a light Pinot Noir, Gamay, or Zweigelt. A classic Swiss French cheese is also a great choice, but try to avoid foods covered in bbq sauce or overly salty flavors.
Additional food suggestions: bacon, French onion soup, or roasted pork shoulder.
When serving up a dinner that is sure to stick to the bones and includes favorites like red meat, braised dishes or potatoes a nice cabernet sauvignon, Bordeaux or merlot is a smooth option. Just be sure not to serve up any medium red wines if you are eating something spicy or chowing down on some sushi!
Additional food suggestions: Truffle mac n' cheese, fire roasted pizza, or Cuban food.
When your craving something bold and fatty like roasted lamb, pate or a hot stew there’s nothing like washing it down with a decadent syrah, Malbec, or mourvedre. If you’re just in the mood for a wine and cheese plate, opt for some smoked cheddar but try to avoid any seafood or egg dishes.
Additional food suggestions: Bone marrow, steak tartare, or a cheese burger.
We are all about saving the best for last and if your desert plate features some rich chocolate or walnut flavors they will be begging for some sherry, port, or a nice madeira. Just remember to keep your dessert wines with the desserts and not with any seafood, white meats or citrus flavors.
Additional food suggestions: Chocolate covered cherries, tiramisu or flan.