Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s a day for couples, so why don’t we celebrate those perfect food and wine pairings we’ve discovered and come to love over the years? Why not share these at dinner with family, friends or that special person tonight?
Indulge your senses by experimenting with these fourteen perfect pairings:
Pinot Noir with Earthy Dishes
Recipes made with ingredients like mushrooms and truffles go well with reds like Pinot Noir and Dolcetto because these reds are light-bodied but full of savoury depth.
Chardonnay with Fatty Fish
Silky whites like Chardonnay from Australia or Chile are great with fish like salmon or any other kind of seafood in lush sauce.
Champagne with Salty Dishes
Champagne is great with anything salty. Most sparkling wines such as Brut Champagne and Spanish Cava pair well with salty foods because they have a faint touch of sweetness.
Cabernet Sauvignon with Juicy Red Meat
California Cabernet, Bordeaux and Bordeaux-style blends are perfect with steaks or chops like lamb chops with frizzled herbs as the firm tannins in these wines refresh the palate after each bite of meat.
Sauvignon Blanc with Tart Dressings & Sauces
Tangy foods don’t overwhelm zippy wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Vinho Verde from Portugal and Verdejo from Spain.
Dry Rosé with Rich, Cheesy Dishes
Though some cheeses go better with white wine and some with red, almost all pair well with dry rosé, which has the acidity of white wine and the fruit character of red.
Pinot Grigio with Light Fish Dishes
Light seafood dishes like seafood tostada bites, tend to take on more flavour when matched with equally delicate white wines, such as Pinot Grigio or Arneis from Italy or Chablis from France.
Malbec with Sweet-Spicy Barbecue Sauces
Malbec, Shiraz and Côtes-du-Rhône are big and bold enough to drink with foods brushed with heavily spiced barbecue sauces, like these chicken drumsticks with Asian barbecue sauce.
Moscato d’Asti with Fruit Desserts
Moscato d’Asti blends with fruit desserts. Moderately sweet sparkling wines such as Moscato d’Asti, demi-sec Champagne and Asti Spumante help emphasise the fruit in the dessert, rather than the sugar.
Syrah with Highly-Spiced Dishes
Heavily-seasoned meat like cumin-spiced burgers with harissa mayo go quite well with red wine rich in spicy notes. Syrah from Washington, Cabernet Franc from France and Xinomavro from Greece are are good examples of these.
Grüner Veltliner with Fresh
Grüner Veltliner pairs with foods that have lots of fresh. The wine’s citrus-and-clover scent is lovely when there are lots of fresh herbs in a dish, like zucchini linguine with herbs. Other go-to grapes in a similar style include Albariño from Spain and Vermentino from Italy.
Zinfandel with Pâtés, Mousses & Terrines
If you can use the same adjectives to describe a wine and a dish, the pairing is likely to work. For example, the words “rustic” and “rich” describe Zinfandel, Italy’s Nero d’Avola and Spain’s Monastrell as well as creamy chicken-liver mousse.
Off-Dry Riesling with Sweet & Spicy Dishes
The slight sweetness of many Rieslings, Gewürztraminers and Vouvrays helps tame the heat of spicy Asian and Indian dishes, like a Thai green salad with duck cracklings.
Rosé Champagne with Dinner
Rosé sparkling wines, such as rosé Champagne, cava and sparkling wine from California, have the depth of flavour and richness to go with a wide range of main courses.