Wine Pairing Guide2018-05-15T17:34:32+00:00

                                                                                      PAIRING GLOSSARY

“Serve white wine with fowl and fish, and red wine with red meats,” so the old rule goes. Well, you know what they say about rules! Here’s more than 150 traditional and rule-bending wine pairings for you to explore and savor. We think the best way to discover what pairs well with your favorite wine is by simply trying it out. Half of the fun of both cuisine and wine is experiencing the unknown. Next time you prepare a great dish, throw out the rules and try the unconventional. Cheers!


Agiorgitiko (Greek for St. George’s) – Sweet vegetables, spicy sauces, red meats.

Aglianico – Beef, pork, lamb, duck, peppery foods, full-bodied cheeses.

Airén – Grilled shrimp, sole, salmon, pumpkin dishes.

Albalonga – Rhubarb, mango, sorbets, chocolate.

Albariño – Crab, shrimp, fish, calamari, caviar, barbecued pork, cream cheeses.

Alicante Bouschet – Barbecued beef, beef, garbanzo and kidney bean dishes, couscous.

Aligoté – Shrimp cocktail, clams, raw oysters, sausages, basil, garlic, mushrooms, chestnuts.

Alvarinho – Fish and chips, Asian cuisine, pork.

Amarone – Potato dishes, prawns, sweet cream sauces, pizza, minestrone soup.

Ansonica Costa dell’Argentario – Duck, fish, sweet cheeses, asparagus, artichokes.

Arneis – Fish, asparagus, artichoke, vegetarian pizza.

Auxerrois (AKA Pinot Auxerrois, Auxerrois Blanc) – Beef and potato stews, chicken, scallops, Hollandaise sauce, cheeses.


Baco Noir – Hamburgers, pizza, barbecue, lamb, pasta and tomato sauce dishes.

Barbera – Root vegetables, zucchini, minestrone soup, Romano and Gorgonzola cheese.

Barco Reale di Carmignano or Carmignano – Lamb, salty porks, nut desserts, almonds.

Barbaresco – Spinach dishes, Parmesan cheese, game fowl.

Barolo – Game fowl, duck, Romano and Stilton cheese.

Beaujolais – Beet salad, Greek cuisine, fish, fajitas, grilled cheeses.

Beaujolais Nouveau – Chicken, black beans, green chile, pork, ginger sauces.

Bianco dell’Empolese – Almonds, biscotti, puff pastries, grilled meats.

Bianco della Valdinievole – Grilled fish, pastries, artichokes, asparagus.

Bianco di Pitigliano – Seafood, garlic butters, pungent cheeses.

Bianco Pisano di San Torpè – Chicken Parmesan, pasta dishes with herb cream sauces, pork.

Blaufränkisch – Bratwurst, tomato and basil pizza, feta cheese.

Brachetto – Ricotta cheese, blueberries, blackberries, barbecued meats, polenta, lima or butter beans, cheesecake, cream sauces.

Brachetto d’Acqui – Berries, plums, sweet creams, brie, creme brulee.

Brunello di Montalcino – Gouda cheese, game fowl, beef stroganoff, spinach dishes, shellfish, pumpkin, butternut squash, cheese risotto.


Cabernet Franc – Couscous, goat cheese, cabbage, pizza, beef.

Cabernet Sauvignon – Duck, venison, lamb, tuna, cheddar cheese.

Carignan – Sausages, mustard sauces, lamb, beef stews.

Carménère – Grilled hamburgers, steaks, dark leafy green vegetables.

Castagnolo – Sweet mushrooms, cream cheeses, puff pasty desserts.

Catawba – Pho, potato dishes, shellfish.

Cava – Stuffed mushrooms, olives, salami, cheese, roasted almonds, caviar, cheese pies.

Chablis – Tarts, fennel salad, souffle, Greek cuisine.

Chambourcin – Potato dishes, fish, hamburgers, cheese pasta dishes, dark chocolate.

Champagne – Caviar, pates, smoked salmon, prosciutto, melon.

Champagne Brut – Cheese puffs, Camembert cheese.

Champagne Demi-Sec – Cheesecake, Alfredo or cream garlic sauces.

Champagne Extra Brut – Redskin potatoes, pumpkin pie, risotto, beef tenderloin.

Champagne Extra Dry – Quiche, Beef Wellington, spinach dishes, green beans, herb potatoes.

Chardonnay – Game fowl, perogies, stir fry, crab cakes, pork dishes, spicy foods, acidic foods like oranges and other citrus, sweet creams, molasses.

Chenin Blanc – Fennel dishes, crab, blackened fish, cheese omelet, dill, figs.

Chianti – Bruschetta, minestrone soup, lasagna, cod, roasted chicken, Romano cheese.

Crémant d’Alsace – Beef Wellington, turkey, winter squash, carrots, garbanzo beans, potatoes dishes.

D to L

Dolcetto – Roast chicken, game fowl, chiles, pizza, pasta, Provolone and Gouda cheese.

Dornfelder – Cheese souffle, perogies, minestrone soup, pumpkin pie.

Durif – Mushrooms, beef, lima or butter beans, roast potatoes.


Elbling (AKA Elba) – Kielbasa, apples, smoked meats.

Ehrenfelser – Barbecued meats, casseroles, green vegetables, winter squash, cheddar cheese.


Freisa – Salty pork and sausages, barbecued meats, casseroles, green vegetables, winter squash, cheddar cheese


Gamay – Beef, fowl, pork, light tomato sauces, Valdeón and mild cheeses, strawberries.

Gewürztraminer – Creole cuisine, curry sauces, goose, shrimp, leeks, spinach dishes.

Grenache – Dried fruit, duck, red beans, couscous, aioli, Piave cheese, baked beans.

Grenache Blanc – Spicy foods, Korean cuisine, tripe dishes.

Grignolino – Pierogies, cheesecake, tomato sauces, grilled pork.

Grüner Veltliner – Arugula, ceviche, sole, butternut squash soup, ham, bacon and other salty pork.


Huxelrebe – Bacon and other salty pork, green vegetables, vinaigrettes.


Ice Wine – Pork, beef, squash, zucchini.

Ives Noir – Pumpkin pie, crab, shellfish, beef dishes.


Jacquère – Barbecued meats, cheesecake, crab dishes, redskin potatoes, mushrooms.


Kadarka – Chicken, sweet potatoes, pears.


Liebfraumilch – Fish and chips, shellfish, shrimp, risotto, lima or butter beans, potato dishes, asparagus.

Lagrein – Barbecued meats, crab, potato dishes.

Lambrusco – Ricotta cheese, catfish, calzone, avocado, salami and other salty pork, pizza.


Mourvèdre – Honey Dijon, flounder, sweet breads.

Madeira – Fresh fruit, crab, figs, chocolate, coffee flavored desserts.

Malaga – Dark chocolate, raspberries, sweet cream desserts, meringue.

Malbec – Cabbage rolls, lamb, beef stew, chili, mushrooms.

Malmsey – Figs, creme brulee, caramel.

Malvasia – Potato dishes, roast duck, pumpkin, prawns.

Marsala – Custard desserts, Ricotta cheese, biscotti, cupcakes, figs.

Mas Igneus – Risotto, lima or butter beans, potatoes, cheesecake, roast pork.

Maréchal Foch – Tomato sauces, quiche, breads, pasta.

Melon de Bourgogne (AKA Melon, Muscadet) – Halibut, fluke, flounder, steamed or broiled fish, clams, Muenster, Havarti or Lancashire cheese.

Mencia – Chorizo and other spicy sausages, prosciutto and other salty pork.

Merlot – Fajitas, corned beef, roast chicken, cranberries, cinnamon.

Montepulciano – Sausages and other salty pork, antipasto, zucchini, cannelloni.

Montescudaio – Cheese pie, pumpkin dishes, polenta, barbecued beef.

Morellino di Scansano – Spinach, Beef Wellington, spicy dishes.

Moscadello di Montalcino – Chèvre and Ricotta cheese, raspberry, sweet cream desserts.

Moscato d’Asti – Ginger desserts, mousses, souffles, cookies, white chocolate, churros, Parmesan cheese, risotto, cheesecake, beef, beet salad.

Mourvèdre (AKA Mataró or Monastrell) – Steaks, hamburgers, smoked sausages, tomato sauce, pasta dishes.

Müller-thurgau – Citrus, potato dishes, risotto, pastas, slightly spicy Asian dishes.

Muscadine – Lima or butter beans, roast potatoes, rosemary, pork, shellfish.

Muscat – Ginger, nut desserts, figs, grapefruit, cheese fondue, duck.

N to R

Nebbiolo – Asiago cheese, baked beans, basil, beef stew, fried foods.

Negroamaro – Vegetarian pizza, squash, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes.

Norton – Potato dishes, roast duck, pumpkin, prawns.


Ojaleshi – Goat cheese, caviar, beef stew, barbecued fowl.

Ortega – Meatloaf, Provolone cheese, tomato sauces, pasta.


Parrina – Polenta, asparagus, arugula salad, Chicken Milanese.

Pedro Ximénez (PX) – Nuts, blue cheese, dried fruit, dark chocolate, caramel.

Petite Sirah (see also “Durif”) – Beef short ribs, barbecue, enchiladas, venison, Mexican cuisine.

Petite Verdot – Duck, pork spare ribs, lamb, sweetmeats.

Pineau – Shellfish, Parmesan and feta Cheese, omelets.

Pinot – Perogies, beet salad, Chinese cuisine, curry dishes, tuna.

Pinot Gris – Omelets, quiches, Swiss Cheese, Creole cuisine.

Pinot Meunier – Orange sauces, peanuts, pork, asparagus.

Pinot Noir – Tuna steak, Camembert cheese, vegetarian stir fry.

Pinotage – Bay, Chorizo and other spicy sausages, barbecued meats.

Pomino – Risotto, bacon and other salty pork, polenta, Parmesan cheese.

Port – Dried fruit, creme brulee, Muenster and blue cheese, Chocolate.

Prosecco – Mozzarella cheese, caprese salad, figs, escargot, jalapeno chiles.


Riesling – Anchovies, potato salad, beet salad, apple desserts, Gouda cheese, perogies, tuna.

Rosé – Raspberry desserts, caprese salad, artichokes, spicy sauces.

Rosso di Montalcino – Italian sausage, cannelloni, beef stew, pungent cheeses.

Roter Veltliner – Sausages, potato salad, Chicken Milanese.

Roussane – Curry dishes, lamb, peppery dishes, tandoori.

Ruby Cabernet – Chili con carne, lamb curry, barbecued beef.


Samos Anthemis – Caramel, nuts, honey, dried oranges, raisins.

Sangiovese – Pasta bolognese, Romano and Pecorino cheese, eggplant dishes.

Saperavi – Barbecued pork, sweet molasses, walnuts, pomegranate.

Sassicaia – Licorice, breads, Brie cheese.

Sauternes – Pumpkin, blue cheese, ginger desserts, pates, chocolate, apple desserts.

Sauvignon Blanc – Artichoke dip, veggie dishes and salads, Greek and Thai cuisine.

Sauvignon Vert (AKA Sauvignonasse and Friulano) – Oysters, clams, pasta with white sauce.

Scuppernong – Spicy dishes, seafood, beef, lamb.

Sémillon – Grouper, grilled fish, dill, cilantro, carrots.

Sherry – Dried fruit, gazpacho, escargot, dates, figs, fried foods.

Siegerrebe – Curried dishes, anise, sweet spices.

Silvaner (AKA Sylvaner) – Artichokes, goat cheese, veal, stew, antipasto, barbecued pork.

Sovana – Chestnuts, mushrooms, pheasant, pork.

Spatlese – Tarts, pies, apples, nectarines.

Spumante – Custard desserts, crepes, doughnuts, cookies, dark chocolate, chestnuts.

St. Laurent – Venison, beef ribs, pork, game fowl, hard cheeses.

Syrah (AKA Shiraz) – Hamburgers, turkey, game fowl, grilled and barbequed chicken, eggplant, walnuts, pizza, pumpkin.

T and V

Tawny Port – Almond cake, honey, butter desserts, chocolate.

Tempranillo (AKA Valdepeñas) – Calamari, grouper, beef, lamb, game, chiles, chipotle, eggplant, beef tacos.

Tinta Cao – Beef Wellington, lamb, thyme, spiced orange, empanadas saltenas.

Touriga Francesa – Apple pie, leeks, potato dishes, green vegetables, lima or butter beans, lamb.

Tokay – Carrot cake, bread pudding, baklava, ginger desserts.

Touriga Naçional – Raisins, oranges, plums, pine nuts, chicken, duck.

Trebbiano (AKA Ugni Blanc) – Cheese casseroles, cream puffs, carrots and other root vegetables, fried calamari, lobster, anchovies, antipasto.


Val d’Arbia – Blue cheese, macaroons, pasta with cream sauces.

Val di Cornia or Val di Cornia Suvereto – Lamb, pork, gravy, potatoes dishes.

Vermentino – Fried Foods, pesto, sea bass, lobster

Vernaccia – Shrimp, crab and crab dips, lobster, Hollandaise sauce, garbanzo beans, pine nuts, chicken dishes.

Viejo Oloroso Dulce – Almonds, blue cheese, salted pork, puddings, bread pudding, sweet breads.

Vidal Blanc – Light seafood, acidic sauces, poached salmon, blue cheese, bread pudding.

V to Z

Vin Santo – Nut Desserts, cupcakes, figs, Provolone cheese, almonds.

Vin Santo del Chianti – Cottage and ricotta cheese, ceviche, summer salads.

Vin Santo del Chianti Classico – Pumpkin pie, sole, shellfish, cream sauces, pasta.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano – Beef roast, duck, pork sausages, lamb, enchiladas, orange sauces, Parmesan cheese, mushrooms, polenta, black truffles.

Viognier – Fish, garlic, dill, coriander, fennel.

Welschriesling – Risotto, zucchini, basil, asparagus.

Xarello – Goat cheese, salmon, calamari, caviar, cheese pies.

Xynomavro – Seafood, lamb, pork, onions.

Zinfandel (AKA Primitivo) – Bruschetta, eggplant parmesan, beef short ribs, Chinese cuisine, sausage, pasta with red sauce, red sauces, blue cheese, barbecued meats.

Zweigelt – Prime rib, burgers, chicken, pork, squash.