Matching food and wine can be a bit daunting - but we've made it easy for you.
There are two lists here - One to look up your favourite wine types to see what food pairs best, and another to look up what food you are having see what wines match best.
Many wines are ideal for drinking on their own – as an aperitif, and some wines (like Riesling and less well known Gewurztraminer) come to life when paired with food.
When food and wine are paired well, they bring out the best in each other – enhancing and complimenting the aromas and flavours. If you get it wrong, flavours can get masked or overwhelmed. Our tables below give a quick and to find easy reference point for ideal pairing.
The general concepts
Light flavour foods can be overwhelmed by a strong wine, and full flavoured dishes can overwhelm lighter wines. There are also a few pairings that result in unpleasant tastes. For example pairing white poultry with a Cabernet Sauvignon can give you a metallic taste – not nice. Match the Cabernet Sauvignon to a spicy or full flavoured red meat dish with tomatoes and you have a winner. Similarly a Sauvignon Blanc will be overwhelmed by a spice dish but is wonderful with seafoods and salads.
At Wine Palate, our producers give recommendations on what food their vintages match perfectly –especially helpful when there is a blend of grapes. We include food pairings in all of our tasting notes, and this guide helps by giving a broad guide to what foods and wines pair well together.
Popular White Wines
Fruits – apple, guava, mango, pear, papaya. Vegetables – avocado, mushroom, potato, spinach, white cabbage. Dishes and regions – Light/ creamy pasta, Thai dishes
Pinot Blanc/Pinot Gris
Vegetables – Pairs to a wide range of Grilled/meditteranean. Dishes and Regions – Salad, Seafood, Pastas and Rice
Vegetables – Green beans, Mushrooms. Dishes and Regions - Curry, Sushi, Oysters, Tempura
Fruits – lemon, lime, tomato. Vegetables – asparagus, broccoli, celery, cucumber, sprouts, corn, mushrooms, red and green peppers, green beans, radish, spinach. Dishes and regions – Light/creamy pastas, Rice, Salads, Seafood
Fruits – apple, banana, grape, mango, melon, pineapple. Vegetables – potato. Dishes and Regions – Sushi, Thai, Chinese, Indian,
Fruits – apple, fig, guava, grape, lemon, lime, orange, papaya, pear. Vegetables – asparagus, artichoke, red cabbage, corn, carrot, mushrooms, pumpkin. Dishes and regions – Asian, Poultry, Seafood.
Popular Red Wines
Fruits – currants. Vegetables – broccoli, carrot, red cabbage, mushrooms. Dishes and regions – Pasta (tomato/meat), Steaks, Casseroles, Stews, Game,
Fruits –currants. Vegetables – broccoli, carrot, red cabbage, mushroom. Dishes and regions - Poultry, Lasagne, Vegetarian, Middle Eastern/Greek
Dishes and Regions - Steaks, Casseroles, Game
Fruits - currants, cherry, pomegranate. Vegetables – mushroom, butternut squash, red pepper. Dishes and Regions - Roast Chicken, Pasta/ Pizza tomato based (with Parmesan), Mediterranean Vegetables, Tapas, Steaks, Casseroles.
Fruits – fig, plum, strawberry, raspberry. Vegetables – carrot, lentil, mushroom Dishes and regions Pasta (creamy), Rice, Game
Fruits – plum. Vegetables - mushroom, spinach, barley, lentil. Dishes and regions - Pasta (tomato/meat), Red meat – casseroles and barbecued.
Rioja / Tempranillo / Crianza
Fruits – tomato. Vegetables –red and green peppers. Dishes and regions – Tapas, Paella, Grilled chicken, Meat platters (Chorizo), Mediterranean vegetables, Pasta (tomato/meat), Red meat and casseroles, Barbecued meat, Game.
Vegetables - barley, lentil, red bean, chilli bean. Dishes and regions – Pasta (tomato/pesto), Mexican, Thai, Red meat, Barbecued meat, Game
Fruits - strawberry, raspberry, tomato. Vegetables – avocado, red/green peppers. Dishes and regions – Chicken, Fish, Chinese (Sweet and Sour), Lightly spiced Mexican/Indian
Sparkling wines are best for welcoming guests, and as an aperitif - but pair well with Pastas (creamy), Salads, Seafoods and Sushi.
Dishes & Regions, Fruits & Vegetables
Dishes & Regions
Pastas – Creamy --- Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Sparkling, Pinot Noir
Pastas – Tomato --- Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, Syrah/Shiraz, Zinfandel, Rioja
Pizza --- Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Rioja
Salad --- Sauvignon Blanc, Sparkling, Pinot Gris, Rose Wines
Chicken/Poultry --- Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo, Pinot Gris/Blanc, Viognier, Rioja (Tempranillo/Crianza), Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Rose Wines
Shellfish/Seafood --- Pinot Gris, Verdejo, Sauvignon Blanc, Sparkling, Rose wines
Steak,Casseroles, Red Meat --- Rioja (Tempranillo/Crianza), Syrah/Shiraz, Merlot, Chianti, Cabernet Franc, Malbec
Rice --- Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc
Lamb --- Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel
Barbecued Meats --- Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah/Shiraz, Rioja
Game --- Malbec, Syrah/Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Zinfandel, Rioja, Gewurztraminer
Mexican/Indian --- Gewurztraminer, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Pinotage, Grenache, Zinfandel
Thai --- Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Riesling, Zinfandel
Chinese/Oriental --- Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Riesling, Viognier, Rose Wines
Sushi/Japanese --- Gewurztraminer, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Sparkling, Rose Wines
Meditteranean/Tapas --- Syrah/Shiraz, Rioja, Pinot Gris/Blanc, Merlot, Cabarnet Franc, Rose
Cheese board --- Merlot, Grenache, Chianti, Beaujolais, Rioja (Tempranillo/Crianza), Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah/Shiraz, Zinfandel, Dessert wines
Asparagus --- Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier
Avocado --- Chardonnay, Rose Wine
Barley --- Syrah/Shiraz, Zinfandel
Broccoli --- Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc
Bean -chilli/red --- Zinfandel
Cabbage-white --- Chardonnay
Cabbage -red --- Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Viognier, Zinfandel
Carrot --- Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Viognier
Corn --- Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier
Green beans --- Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin blanc
Lentils --- Pinot Noir, Syrah/Shiraz
Mushrooms --- Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Cabarnet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah/Shiraz
Peppers –red/green --- Sauvignon Blanc, Rioja
Potato --- Chardonnay
Pumpkin --- Pinot Noir, Viognier
Radish --- Sauvignon Blanc
Spinach --- Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah/Shiraz
Sprouts --- Sauvignon Blanc
Apple --- Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier
Banana --- Muscat, Riesling
Cherry --- Merlot, Pinot Noir
Currant/raisin --- Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc
Fig --- Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Chianti, Viognier
Guava --- Chardonnay, Viognier
Grapes --- Riesling, Viognier
Lemon/lime --- Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier
Mango --- Chardonnay, Riesling
Melon --- Muscat, Riesling
Orange --- Viognier
Papaya --- Chardonnay, Viognier
Pear --- Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier
Pineapple --- Riesling
Plum --- Pinot Noir, Syrah/Shiraz
Tomato --- Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese, Chianti, Rose Wines