Several months ago, I wrote an article on guidelines for wine and food pairing and recently, one of my favorite readers (Joe, aka husband 😉 ) requested an article on specific pairings.
The “Classic” list below is pairings that most wine industry people agree on and is wine 101 knowledge. The “Mainstream” list is pairings many consider “no fails.” If you are beginning your journey in wine the lists will, at the very least, give you a jumping off point. I encourage you to branch out from the wines stated as many producers from around the globe are spinning similar takes on traditional wines. When in doubt, a good rule of thumb is to pair food and wine from the same region.
- Oysters & Chablis ~ Chablis: unoaked Chardonnay from the Chablis region, France (Champagne is also a great option with oysters)
- Foie Gras & Sauternes ~ Sauternes: made using Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle grapes affected by Boytritis (Noble Rot) from the Graves region in Bordeaux, France
- Caviar & Champagne ~ Champagne: sparkling wine made using primarily Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes that have been produced following a strict set of rules (to include secondary fermentation) in the Champagne region, France
- Goat Cheese & Sancerre ~ Sancerre: Sauvignon Blanc from the eastern part of the Loire Valley, France
- Stilton Cheese & Port ~ Port: fortified wine produced in the Douro Valley, Portugal
- Steak & Big Reds ~ Big Reds: a mouthful of tannic deliciousness ex. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, red Bordeaux
- Mushrooms & Red Burgundy ~ Red Burgundy: Pinot Noir from the Burgundy region, France often having mushroom notes
- BBQ (Pork or Beef) & California Zinfandel ~ Zinfandel: a full-bodied red wine from California known for it’s spicy character (Italian Primitivo is the same varietal)
- Lobster with drawn butter & oaked California Chardonnay ~ oaked CA Chardonnay: white wine of Chardonnay grapes that have spent time aging in oak barrels, often new French oak
- Osso Bucco & Barolo or Barbaresco ~ Barolo / Barbaresco: Nebbiolo wine from the Piedmont region, Italy; Barolo is heavier and is a region about 10km from Barbaresco, where the Nebbiolo grape is a bit more elegant