Grapes and Food

If you have chosen the wine and look for matching food, this information may be useful. Go to the wine type you have chosen or the grape variety (underlined) and see what kind of food is suitable.

Red Wines

There is one important thing to notice regarding all dry red wines: avoid sweet food. Usually red wine is served to meat but red wine can also go well with fried or grilled fish and in particular salmon or tuna.

Juicy, fruity red wines

Best examples of this type of wine are those made of the Merlot grape variety.

These wines go well with: fried or grilled red meat, chicken or pork. Ham, spicy food, Indian and Tex-Mex food, cold meats and pâtés.

Appetizing, sweet-and-sour red wines with soft tannins

Many Italian wines belong to this group, and it is therefore not unexpected that they are ideal for the following dishes with an Italian touch. Light Valpolicella with soft tannins has thiese characteristics.

These wines go with everything: pizza, lasagna, tomato-based dishes, spaghetti bolognese, cold meats and salami, roast pork, dishes with garlic and herbs.

Silky-smooth, strawberry-like red wines

The best examples of these wines are made from Pinot Noir grapes (such as red Burgundy).

Avoid spicy food as the wine then loses its delicate character.

These wines are ideal with red meats in rich sauce, such as boeuf bourgignon, fried wild poultry and fried or grilled red meats. Even chicken in red wine sauce or cooked with garlic goes well with these wines.

Intense, blackcurrant-like red wines

These are wines with tight tannins and a distinct note of blackcurrants. Examples of this type of wine are those made of Cabernet Sauvignon alone or in combination with Merlot (e.g. Bordeaux).

Avoid tomatoes and spicy food dishes or cold pork and chicken.

However, they are very good with fried or grilled red meat - especially lamb. Wild game, such as deer and elk, duck and goose but also fried chicken and turkey. Cold roast beef is also suitable food.

Spicy, full-bodied red wines

These wines are dense and fruity with notes of black pepper and chocolate, sometimes with a hint of smokiness. Typical grape variety is Syrah or Shiraz.

These wines go well with almost every food but can be a little dominant for delicate dishes.

Excellent for pepper steak, sausages, herb-rich stews and game stews, duck and goose, roast or grilled red meats, everything grilled goes well.

Appetizing, sweet-and-sour, tannin rich, red wines

These wines are rich in tannins, good examples are those from Barolo in Italy, made of Nebbiolo, a grape with a fascinating touch of tar and roses.

These wines will only show their best with heavy, meaty dishes. Avoid cold pork and chicken.

They go well with rich game dishes, herb-rich stews and fried or grilled red meats.

Rosé Wines

These wines are usually light and dry with strawberry-like flavour and aroma, sometimes with a touch of herbs. They are ideal to drink in the summer. Rosé goes well with most food from delicate fish to rich, spicy food and is an excellent match to vegetable dishes and vegetarian food. Because they are light, avoid heavy meat dishes.

White Wines

Can you serve white wine to meat? Yes, there are many meat dishes, especially chicken and turkey but also pork, which match very well.

Bone dry, neutral, white wines

These wines are only found in Europe. In France, Muscadet (grape variety Melon de Bourgogne) from the Loire and Chablis (grape variety Chardonnay) without oak from Burgundy are good examples of this wine type. Italy has specialized in this type of wine, represented by the Frascati (grape varieties Malvasia / Trebbiano), Orvieto (grape variety Trebbiano), Verdicchio (grape variety Verdicchio), Soave (Garganega / Trebbiano), Pinot Bianco (= Pinot Blanc) and Pinot Grigio (= Pinot Gris).

These neutral wines are very good with plain seafood dishes, grilled chicken breast, spaghetti carbonara, quiche and salads. Cajun and Tex-Mex food is also good.

Green, flavourful, white wines

These wines are crisp and fresh, often with aromas and flavours of gooseberry. Typical examples are wines made from Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc or Riesling.

Dishes with tomato sauce, tomatoes, pizza, salads with tangy dressing, Indian food and sushi. Goat cheese goes very well with Sauvignon Blanc.

Intense, nutty, white wines

These wines are rich and juicy with subtle touch of nuts and taste of oatmeal. They are usually matured in oak, e.g. white Burgundy (grape variety Chardonnay). Oak matured Graves and Pessac-Léognan are blends of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc and both give a creamy wine with nutty tone. They are together with Australian Semillon and white Rioja (grape variety Viura) examples of wines of this style.

Creamy sauces and sauces with butter, grilled white fish or grilled fried chicken and turkey go well with these wines. They are also good to salmon, smoked, grilled or baked and tuna. Spaghetti carbonara, all dishes in creamy sauces are excellent.

Be careful with spices as they can destroy the wine's subtle flavours.

Mature, white wines with flavours of toasted bread

These wines have generous aromas of peach, apricot and tropical fruit, laced with vanilla, toast and toffee from new oak barrels. Most people associate this wine type with grape variety Chardonnay but many other white wines have this tropical character.

Grilled or baked salmon or tuna, sauces with cream and butter, grilled or fried chicken or turkey, fish and shellfish in a sauce of white wine and cream and spaghetti carbonara, all go well with these wines. If the wine has a prominent oak character this may become too dominant for delicate fish dishes. These wines are not suitable for dishes containing too much spices or acidic ingredients.

Aromatic, white wines

These wines are perfumed with aromas of spring flowers or exotic fragrances. Gewurztraminer from Alsace is the typical example of such a wine. It smells of roses and lychee, perfume and a diversity of spices. Dry Muscat from Alsace also possesses these flowery, almost dizzy-making intense floral aromas. Viognier is another grape variety that gives an aromatic wine with aromas of apricot and spring flowers, especially if grown in the Rhone Valley.

Thai and Chinese food, smoked fish, duck and goose, rich pâtés are excellent to this type of wine. Yes, anything containing strong flavours, most Asian dishes and charcuterie.

Sparkling wines

Sparkling dry white wine goes well with almost anything and especially to shellfish and smoked fish. Champagne and oysters are classic luxury.

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