fbpx
/
How to Pair Wine with Food – Global Cuisine

How to Pair Wine with Food – Global Cuisine

How to Pair wine with Food - Global Cuisine

How to Pair Wine with Food – Global Cuisine

How to Pair Wine with Food – Global Cuisine. When it comes to enhancing a meal, the pairing of wine and food plays a pivotal role in elevating both the culinary experience and the enjoyment of the wine itself. This art, though rooted in tradition, offers ample space for creativity and personal expression. For this Master list, first we will explore the foundational principles of wine and food pairing. Then we’ll  follow up with a list of Wine and food pairings for Global Cuisine and do Meats, Cheeses, Desserts and Seafood in other segments. I have extended a few Global Wines to certain Cuisines as well.

Foundational Principles of Wine and Food Pairing

Pairing wine with food is not just a matter of taste—it’s about balance, contrast, and enhancement. Here are some key principles to consider:

  1. Balance in Weight and Intensity: The intensity of both the wine and the dish should match to avoid one overpowering the other. Lighter dishes, like a delicate fish or salad, pair well with lighter wines, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, while richer, heartier dishes, such as a beef stew, call for more full-bodied wines, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah.
  2. Complementary Flavors: Similar flavors in both wine and food can enhance each other. A buttery Chardonnay complements dishes with creamy sauces, while a wine with citrus notes might pair well with a lemon-accented dish.
  3. Contrasting Flavors: Opposing flavors can create a pleasant balance. A crisp, acidic wine like Riesling can cut through the richness of a fatty dish, refreshing the palate. Similarly, the sweetness of a late harvest wine or Port contrasts beautifully with the saltiness of blue cheese or savory dishes.
  4. Tannins and Fat: Tannins in red wine interact wonderfully with fat in meat, as the tannins cut through the richness of the dish, cleansing the palate. This is why a tannic wine like Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic pairing for fatty cuts of beef.
  5. Acidity: Wines with high acidity can be very food-friendly. Acidity in wine acts similarly to how lemon juice can brighten a dish, highlighting flavors and cutting through fat. High-acid wines, like Sauvignon Blanc or Chablis, pair well with fatty foods or dishes with a heavy cream base.
  6. Spice and Alcohol: Spicy foods can be heightened by alcohol, so it’s generally best to pair spicy dishes with wines that have a lower alcohol content and perhaps a touch of sweetness, like an off-dry Gewürztraminer or Riesling, to temper the heat.
  7. Regional Pairings: When in doubt, pairing wine and food from the same region is a reliable guide. Regional food and wines have often evolved together over time and naturally complement each other, such as Italian Chianti with pasta in a tomato-based sauce or Spanish Rioja with Iberico ham.
  8. Sweetness: The wine should be at least as sweet as the dish it’s paired with. Desserts and sweet dishes can make dry wines taste sour, so it’s preferable to choose a wine that has a bit of sweetness for sweet dishes, like Moscato d’Asti with fruit desserts or Sauternes with foie gras.

By considering these principles, you can make informed decisions that enhance both the wine and the meal, leading to a more enjoyable dining experience.

 First I Identified the top 25 wines in the world that are somewhat easy to find for Pairing with foods I am about to list. I also added red blends, Rose Champagne and dessert wines which can have different varietals, so I listed them towards the bottom. 

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon
  2. Chardonnay
  3. Merlot
  4. Pinot Noir
  5. Sauvignon Blanc
  6. Syrah/Shiraz
  7. Zinfandel
  8. Riesling (Dry to Sweet)
  9. Malbec
  10. Pinot Grigio
  11. Sangiovese
  12. Cabernet Franc
  13. Tempranillo
  14. Moscato
  15. Grenache
  16. Gewürztraminer
  17. Gamay
  18. Chenin Blanc
  19. Viognier
  20. Mourvèdre
  21. Montepulciano
  22. Red Blend
  23. Sparkling Wine/Champagne
  24. Rosé
  25. Dessert Wines

If you have a favorite varietal not listed here, feel free to drop me a note and I can help you pair the wine with a particular food.

Master Wine & Food Pairing List

How to Pair Wine with Food – Global Cuisine

Armenian Food:

  • Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir’s light body and earthy notes complement the nutty flavor of bulgur wheat found in many Armenian dishes such as Dolma.
  • Grenache: Grenache’s spicy, fruity flavor pairs well with the herbs commonly used in Armenian cuisine such as Dolma.
  • Syrah/Shiraz: Its peppery and spicy notes can complement the earthy flavors of Shish Kebab.
  • Red Blends – With blends of GSM (Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre) also a great choice for Lamb dishes.
  • Sauvignon Blanc: The high acidity and herbal notes of Sauvignon Blanc can balance the tangy and savory flavors of grape leaves.
  • Pinot Grigio: The light body and subtle fruit flavors of Pinot Grigio can complement the mild flavor of grape leaves.
  • Areni (Armenian Red Wine) Grilled meats, roasted vegetables, and hearty stews
  • Agiorgitiko (Armenian Red Wine) Aromatic spices, lamb dishes, and rich sauces
  • Voskeni (Armenian White Wine) Fish dishes, salads, and light appetizers

Chinese Food

  • Gewürztraminer: Its floral and spicy aromas can complement spicy dishes like Sichuan cuisine or Kung Pao chicken.
  • Riesling (Dry): The high acidity of dry Riesling can balance the flavors of dishes like stir-fried vegetables or dumplings.
  • Pinot Noir: Its light body and subtle fruitiness can pair well with milder Chinese dishes like steamed fish or chicken with mushrooms.
  • Gamay: Its light body and fruity flavors can complement dishes with sweeter or fruit-based sauces, like sweet and sour pork or orange chicken.
  • Chardonnay: A full-bodied Chardonnay can stand up to richer Chinese dishes like crispy duck or tofu.

Greek Food

  • Sauvignon Blanc: High acidity and citrus notes of Sauvignon Blanc complement the lemon and oregano flavors often found in Greek dishes.
  • Pinot Grigio: Pinot Grigio’s light body and subtle fruit flavors pair well with the acidity of Greek feta cheese.
  • Red Blends – With blends of GSM (Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre) also a great choice for Lamb dishes.
  • Syrah: Syrah’s bold fruit flavors and tannins can balance the earthy flavor of oregano in Greek dishes.
  • Assyrtiko (Greek wine) Assyrtiko’s high acidity and citrus notes complement the tangy feta cheese and acidic tomatoes in Greek salad. Assyrtiko’s crisp and refreshing character also pairs well with the smoky flavor of grilled meat in souvlaki.
  • Moschofilero (Greek Wine): Moschofilero’s floral and fruity notes complement the herby and savory flavors of spinach pie.
  • Agiorgitiko (Greek Wine): Agiorgitiko’s bold and fruity flavors can balance the rich and savory taste of moussaka, which typically includes eggplant, ground meat, and béchamel sauce.
  • Xinomavro (Greek Wine): Lamb Dishes: Xinomavro’s high tannins and robust character can pair well with the rich and gamy flavors of lamb, which is a popular meat in Greek cuisine.

Indian Food

  • Riesling: The high acidity and subtle sweetness of Riesling can balance the heat and spice of Indian dishes, especially those with coconut milk or creamy sauces.
  • Gewürztraminer: The aromatic and floral character of Gewürztraminer can complement the spices and herbs in Indian dishes, such as curries and masalas.
  • Pinot Noir: The light body and earthy notes of Pinot Noir can pair well with milder Indian dishes, such as tandoori chicken or vegetable biryani.
  • Rosé: A dry Rosé can be a refreshing pairing for Indian food, as its light body and fruity character can balance the bold flavors of spicy dishes.

Italian Food: (From the list)

  • Sangiovese: A medium-bodied, savory wine with bright acidity, firm tannins, and notes of cherry and earth. It pairs well with tomato-based pasta dishes, such as pasta alla Bolognese.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon: Best with rich, robust dishes, like braised short ribs or grilled steak.
  • Chardonnay: Works well with cream-based pasta dishes and buttery seafood.
  • Merlot: Pairs with a wide range of Italian dishes, from pasta Bolognese to grilled vegetables.
  • Pinot Noir: Ideal for lighter Italian dishes like mushroom risotto or roasted chicken.
  • Sauvignon Blanc: Pairs well with seafood-based dishes and salads.
  • Syrah/Shiraz: Suitable for rich, meat-based dishes and stews.
  • Riesling (Dry to Sweet): Can be paired with a variety of Italian dishes, depending on sweetness level.
  • Malbec: Pairs well with hearty, meat-based Italian dishes.
  • Pinot Grigio: Ideal for light Italian fare, like seafood and salads.

Italian Food: (Regional Wines included)

  • Chianti: A Sangiovese-based wine that can vary in style from light and fruity to more robust and age-worthy. It generally pairs well with a variety of Italian dishes, including pizza, pasta with red sauce, and charcuterie boards.
  • Barbera: High acidity, moderate tannins, and red fruit flavors complement rich and hearty meat dishes.
  • Verdicchio: Light-bodied, citrusy, and mineral-driven, making it perfect for pairing with seafood and fish-based dishes.
  • Amarone: Full-bodied, rich, and robust, complementing hearty dishes with its dried fruit flavors and firm tannins.
  • Lambrusco: Light, fruity, and slightly sparkling, balancing the saltiness and fattiness of cured meats and cheese platters.
  • Nero d’Avola: Bold, fruity, and spicy, matching the intense flavors of stews and pasta dishes featuring eggplant.
  • Brunello di Montalcino: Elegant, full-bodied, and age-worthy, complementing rich and flavorful grilled meats, like Bistecca alla Fiorentina.
  • Primitivo: Rich, bold, and fruity, pairing well with meat stews and roasted game.
  • Sagrantino di Montefalco: Powerful, tannic, and full-bodied, complementing the flavors of grilled meats and aged cheeses.

Mexican Food (General Pairings)

  • Pinot Noir: Its light body and subtle fruitiness can balance the heat and flavors of dishes like mole, carne asada, or enchiladas.
  • Zinfandel: With its bold fruit flavors and peppery notes, Zinfandel can stand up to the spicy and robust flavors of Mexican cuisine, especially with dishes like carnitas or chilaquiles.
  • Riesling (Off-dry): The sweetness of an off-dry Riesling can help tame the heat of spicy Mexican dishes like chorizo or chicharrones.
  • Sauvignon Blanc: The high acidity and citrus notes of Sauvignon Blanc can complement seafood-based Mexican dishes like ceviche or fish tacos.
  • Tempranillo: Its smoky and savory flavors can enhance dishes like birria or barbacoa.

Mexican Food (Tacos)

  • Pinot Noir: Its light body and subtle fruitiness can balance the flavors of tacos filled with grilled or braised meats, like chicken, pork, or beef.
  • Sauvignon Blanc: The high acidity and citrus notes of Sauvignon Blanc can complement seafood tacos, such as fish or shrimp.
  • Tempranillo: Its smoky and savory flavors can pair well with tacos featuring bold, savory fillings like chorizo, barbacoa, or lengua.
  • Grenache: With its fruit-forward character and soft tannins, Grenache can complement tacos filled with carne asada or carnitas.
  • Zinfandel: Its bold fruit flavors and peppery notes can enhance the flavors of tacos with spicy fillings or salsas.

Thai Food

  • Riesling (Dry to Off Dry): The high acidity and fruitiness of Riesling can balance the spicy and sweet flavors of Thai curries or spicy soups like tom yum.
  • Gewürztraminer: Its floral and spicy aromas can complement the flavors of dishes like pad Thai or green curry.
  • Pinot Gris: Its medium body and subtle fruit flavors can pair well with milder Thai dishes like summer rolls or grilled chicken satay.
  • Sauvignon Blanc: The crisp acidity and citrus notes of Sauvignon Blanc can enhance seafood-based Thai dishes like pla pao or spicy squid salad.
  • Syrah: Its bold fruit flavors and peppery notes can complement richer Thai dishes like beef panang or lamb massaman curry.
Vino-Rater

Leave a Reply

Related Post