The Best Foods To Pair With Red Wine & The Best For White Wine

The Best Foods To Pair With Red Wine & The Best For White Wine

For those dinners where you just want to feel a bit fancy, there's nothing like a glass of red or white wine to make you feel sophisticated. But instead of just drinking whatever you have stored at home, we're here to tell you that certain pairings can really elevate a dish. So instead of just drinking white wine with your steak or red wine with your seafood, here are 20 great pairings you have to try.

1. Aged Cheeses

What better way to level up your adult Lunchable than with a glass of red wine? Because let's be honest, charcuterie boards are just grown-up Lunchable kits. But instead of pairing it with chocolate milk, when you're an adult, you get to pair it with red wines that enhance the overall flavours. Aged cheeses like cheddar, gouda, and parmesan have such bold and sharp flavours that a nice, mature red wine can help bring them out even more.

AgedcheeseChelsea Pridham on Unsplash

2. Steak

What's more classic than a delicious, juicy piece of steak and red wine? For the ultimate "treat yourself" meal, no steak dinner is complete without a robust red wine that perfectly complements all those rich, fatty flavours. Just one taste and you'll see why these two go hand in hand!

RedwineClark Douglas on Unsplash

3. Lamb

The next time you have a chance to enjoy some roasted or grilled lamb, you better make sure you pair it with a red wine. After all, lamb isn't something you get to eat on a daily basis, so you might as well make the experience as perfect as possible! Best suited with medium to full-bodied red wines, a glass of Merlot or Shiraz is just the thing you need to elevate the slightly gamey but rich flavours of the lamb.

Resort-921933 1280Image by Sharon Ang from Pixabay

4. Mushroom Risotto

Just because a dish is vegetarian doesn't mean it can have full-body flavours! Mushroom risotto is excellent proof of that, cementing itself as a staple classy dish anyone would be pleased to have for dinner. But since we're talking about classy dinners, let's take it up a notch by pairing it with some earthy red wines. Not only will it further highlight the umami from the mushrooms, but it'll somehow make the dish feel even more complete.

Janko-Ferlic-S 312J8Sjra-UnsplashPhoto by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash


5. Dark Chocolate

It's not just savory dishes that can pair well with wine, it's sweet ones too! Did you know that dark chocolate can be a surprisingly complementary partner to red wine? The bitterness of dark chocolate is a great combination for some lighter red wines that have a fruity profile. It's definitely a rich taste experience you have to try yourself to understand.

Scarlett-Alt-I1Ckoryyz6S-UnsplashPhoto by Scarlett Alt on Unsplash

6. Pasta with Tomato Sauce

Red wine is perfect for enhancing simple dishes. Case in point? Pasta in a rich tomato sauce tastes even better when paired with a bright and fruity red wine like Chianti. The flavours of the wine helps cut through the acidity of the tomato, helping to balance out the dish in a way you'd never expect.

Dogu-Tuncer-Mzqvy7Kh-E0-UnsplashPhoto by Doğu Tuncer on Unsplash

7. Grilled Vegetables

Like we mentioned with the tomato pasta, you don't have to be eating some fancy steak or lamb dinner to enjoy a delightful red wine pairing. The dish can be as simple as grilled vegetables, a medley of bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant. You'd be surprised just how much the dish can evolve when paired with a smoky and bold red wine. Suddenly, your plain vegetables won't seem so boring anymore.

Nick-Nice--Cle54Acdyg-Unsplash (1)Photo by Nick Nice on Unsplash

8. Duck

Fatty, rich, and so meaty, duck is one of those proteins people associate with a fancy meal. It's not as frequently eaten as beef or chicken, that's for sure! So the next time you get your hands on a delicious duck dish, you definitely want to pair it with a wine like Pinot Noir that can accentuate the flavours. You might think this pairing of strong flavours will clash, but they actually work beautifully together, enhancing the overall flavours instead of overwhelming them.

Sebastian-Coman-Photography-Croaeth5S I-Unsplash (1)Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography on Unsplash

9. Pizza

Whether you're grabbing a cheap pizza from Domino's or heading to a fancy Italian restaurant for some authentic versions, make yourself feel even more sophisticated by eating it with a glass of red wine. They complement each other surprisingly well! Just a note though - this works best if you order a meat pizza, one that's topped with lots of cheese and spicy meats. 

The-Nix-Company-Lztm2I7Bl2K-UnsplashPhoto by The Nix Company on Unsplash

10. Beef Bourguignon

Pairing a beautiful red wine like a Burgundy with a hearty stew like beef bourguignon just makes sense. Just think about it - it already sounds like it'd taste delicious, right? Filled with meat, mushrooms, and sometimes bacon that have been cooked until those flavours are deeply woven throughout the entire dish, it's a stew that demands (and deserves) a wine that can match that level of intensity.

Bœuf Bourguignon 06Arnaud 25 on Wikimedia Commons


1. Seafood Platter

If there's one thing about white wine pairings that most people know, it's that it goes great with seafood. So the next time you're enjoying a massive seafood platter loaded with oysters, shrimp, scallops, and so on, make sure you're pairing it with a chilled glass of white wine like Sauvignon Blanc. It's the perfect way to enhance all those natural sweet flavours of the ocean.

Studio-Zeny-Byrvzxbuvig-UnsplashPhoto by STUDIO ZENY on Unsplash

2. Chicken Piccata

Chicken piccata is a tasty Italian dish that basically features pan-fried chicken cutlets drenched in a delicious light lemon-caper sauce. The key word here is lemon. Because those tangy and citrusy notes need a dry white wine accompanying it! Something like a Pinot Grigio will do just the trick, giving the dish a bit of extra oomph that'll make the whole thing taste even more refreshing and bright.

1024Px-Chicken PiccataParkerman & Christie from San Diego, USA on Wikimedia Commons

3. Caesar Salad

Let's go back to the basics - there's nothing more simple than a Caesar salad. Consisting of standard ingredients like romaine lettuce, creamy dressing, and parmesan cheese, it's a wonder how these three things can come together to create something so enjoyable. If you're curious how you can level up this dish, we're telling you it's white wine. It's the best way to balance out those salty and tangy flavours of the salad.

Farhad-Ibrahimzade-Prijpl1Dngq-UnsplashPhoto by Farhad Ibrahimzade on Unsplash

4. Sushi

Sushi and white wine? Before you start shaking your head in confusion, let us tell you why. With a dry white wine like Riesling, you'll be surprised by how the sweetness and acidity are good matches for the flavours of the wasabi and soy sauce. If you're worried that the delicate taste of the sushi will be impacted, don't worry! You'll fall in love with how this white wine can help the flavours of the fish stand out without overpowering them.

Sushi-2679221 1280Image by Angel Plascencia from Pixabay

5. Goat Cheese

While aged cheeses were great for red wines, the soft and tangy goat cheese is great for white wine! For the best results, pick something that has a more floral and fruity flavour profile. This will help you enhance the cheese's flavours, creating something that tastes both balanced and harmonious. They just play off each other so well!

Fromage De Banon Et Aoc VentouxMarianne Casamance on Wikimedia Commons

6. Thai Green Curry

Thai green curry has so many complex flavours and textures that you're probably wondering how it could possibly pair well with white wine. Loaded with notes of lemongrass, coconut, and herbs, you're right to be skeptical about it! But all we're saying is, give it a try with a sweeter white wine next time. Not only will it help even out the heat and spice of the curry, it gives the dish an added sweetness that makes it feel even more well-rounded.

Curry-7249250 1280Image by Joanna Wielgosz from Pixabay


7. Quiche Lorraine

Despite its fancy French name, the Quiche Lorraine is a pretty homey, comforting dish. Made with ingredients everyone loves, like eggs, cream, cheese, and bacon, what's not to like? To make it taste even better, and to turn this heartwarming dish into a more sophisticated one, a crisp Sauvignon Blanc will help cut through all that rich creaminess so that you get a more balanced flavour.

Philippe-Murray-Pietsch-M1Euyhd8Mm8-UnsplashPhoto by Philippe Murray-Pietsch on Unsplash

8. Fish Tacos

Sort of following the logic of white wine pairing best with seafood, let's throw fish tacos on here! Because let's be honest - a good fish taco is all about that fish. It has to be flaky, nicely seasoned, and tender! And with toppings like crunchy cabbage and a creamy sauce, a chilled glass of white wine is just what it needs. The bright acidity of a good white wine will help complement all the fresh flavours of the tacos, turning every bite into a party.

Rosalind-Chang- Oo4Zsyqm3A-UnsplashPhoto by Rosalind Chang on Unsplash

9. Asparagus Risotto

While asparagus risotto is definitely less common than the classic mushroom risotto, if you ever see it on a menu, we definitely think you should try it! It's got those rich and creamy flavours you love, but the asparagus brings an interesting earthy and sweet flavour too. And with a flavour profile like that, you just know a light white wine will do wonders. Find the right pairing and you'll elevate the whole dish.

Stefan-Schauberger-Fuauv0Btigu-Unsplash (1)Photo by Stefan Schauberger on Unsplash

10. Lobster Bisque

Treating yourself to a fancy and expensive lobster bisque? Well, you might as well just go all the way! Having such a rich, creamy, and deep seafood flavour, the only thing that can tie it all together is a well-aged Chardonnay. You're going to be amazed by how well that oaky and rich flavour profile from the wine will complement the bisque. Talk about a truly luxurious dinner experience.

Julien-Sarazin-N3Mk4N Nf7G-UnsplashPhoto by Julien Sarazin on Unsplash