Updated: Jun 2, 2019
Have you always wanted to read more about the art of matching and contrasting wine with food! Well, you will finally understand the art here to enjoy every meal to the max.
You’re going to want to read until the very end where I will give you my wine pairing chart that helps you choose the right wine for you in a way I haven’t seen anyone else do.
In a lot of my videos, I tell you what great pairings consist of, like in my Thanksgiving Wine Pairings video - I just tell you what wines I love to pair. So if you want that, go watch that video.
Here I am going to give you more of a personalized approach. One of the problems I find with classic wine pairing rules is that they don’t take into account your own personal taste, which is really important. I’ve been in rooms full of wine experts and we might disagree about the best wine matches because we all have different taste.
This is why I created a Choose Your Own Adventure approach that I think is fun and easy to use. Basically, the key to pairing is to start with food you are going to eat, like salmon. Now think to yourself, which of these flavor enhancements would I like to have with my salmon for my PERSONAL taste? Because at the end of the day, that is what a good wine pairing is - an enhancement to your whole gustatory experience.
So let’s say you are looking for a pairing for salmon, would you want to add: a) lemon b) a berry compote or sauce c) black pepper or d) honey?
Based on what you answered to that - I can tell you what wines you might like!
Say for example you love squeezing lemon on your salmon. Note, this doesn’t mean you actually are putting lemon on your salmon, it just means that the thought of it makes your mouth water. It is the type of thing that sounds good to you personally.
Based on that choice of lemon, I would suggest wines that have some tartness to them like lemon does such as Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, a Riesling or an Albariño. Are you starting to get the picture?
Let’s choose another scenario - let’s start with a new dish like a brie cheese.
Do you like the combination of wine and cheese? Let me know what you like to combine wine with, in the comments below.
Now traditionally a wine expert might suggest pairing this with a white wine like a Muscadet. But I’d say to you - choose your own adventure!
Let’s go back to our chart - would you like to have a) lemon b) a berry compote c) black pepper or d) honey with that?
Now for me, I love a cranberry sauce over brie. So I’d choose B. And that would lead me to wines that I have categorized as having a similar berry quality. So in this case, you could tell your local wine shop, I am looking for a wine that has berry flavors to it. From my chart, I recommend a bright Spanish grenache, a light Côtes du Rhône or a Pinot Noir with my brie.
For each of these 4 flavor types: lemon, berry sauce, black pepper or honey I’ve created a list of wine types that match those characteristics.
If you prefer Lemon: Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Albariño. If you’d like a Berry Sauce: Zinfandel, Pinot Noir or Grenache; Or if you are more of a spicy Black Pepper person, you might like Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Negrette; and if you chose honey, I’d go for Moscato, Sauternes, Chenin Blanc, or some California Chardonnay.
If you’d like to get a copy of my Chart to help you match wine with any food, get the link here to my Choose Your Own Adventure Guide where I will give you all the wine suggestions for each flavor type. I think I found a really fun and easy way to do wine pairings so get your free guide and all my wine and entertaining tips.