Wine and Food Pairing: Your Ultimate Guide

Wine and food pairing can feel intimidating. However, it doesn’t have to be. It helps if you think of wine as an additional condiment. As any other condiment, the purpose of wine is to complement or contrast, and in so doing, to highlight some special aspect of the dish, whilst perhaps toning down other characteristics.

Embedded in the page below you will find some WineScribble video page links that go to transcripts of the WineScribble YouTube videos. Click through to watch the videos of the wine and food pairings. Enjoy!

Pairing Wine and Cheese

We don’t think there are too many surprises in our guide to pairing wine and cheese. The list below mainly obeys the principle: “if it grows together, it goes together”. Cheese and wine is like many other food and wine pairings, there are so many types of cheese from all around the world. And the cheeses all have unique characteristics in terms of fat, flavour and texture. Use our basic pairing rules to try out your own wine and cheese pairings at home.

Wine and Cheese

Wine and cheese pairing basics:

  • “If it grows together, it goes together.”
  • Fatty cheese prefers a tannic wine
  • Acidic/salty cheese prefers an acidic wine
Cheese Wine
Brie Fruity Pinot Noir or Oaked Chardonnay
Camembert Champagne or Unoaked Chardonnay
Cheddar Gewürztraminer or Cabernet Sauvignon
Edam Pinot Blanc or Zinfandel
Feta Maratheftiko or Pinot Gris
Goat Cheese (Chèvre) Chenin Blanc or Malbec
Gorgonzola Barolo Classico or Chianti
Gouda Merlot or Cabernet Franc
Halloumi Riesling or Morokanella
Jarlsberg Cabernet Sauvignon or Viognier
Mozzarella Sangiovese or Pinot Grigio
Parmesan Valpolicella or Lambrusco
Stilton Shiraz or Muscat
Chablis vs Chardonnay is a question we get asked a lot on Social Media. What does Chardonnay taste like? And how is Chablis Wine different from Chardonnay White Wine? In this video WineScribble compares two famous bottles of wine, the unoaked Calvet Grande Reserve 2016 Chablis and the oaked 2016 Bouchard Pere & Fils Pouilly-Fuisse. Also, what is the best cheese to pair with Chardonnay and Chablis. Stick around until the end for a top-tip about how to choose the correct wine to pair with cheese.

Wine and Food Pairing with Salmon

Should pink wines go with pink meats? It is not quite that simple. As with all things wine and food related, the preparation of the meat and the strongest flavour or seasoning on the plate will actually guide the pairing.

Sure, something nice and simple like a smoked salmon bagel with crème fraîche would taste amazing with a sparkling dry rosé. However, as you move into the more robust dishes, the crisp whites and light reds will be your best tasting partners.

Wine and Salmon

Wine and salmon pairing basics:

  • Simple salmon dishes work well with sparkling wines, especially rosé
  • Salmon salads usually require an acidic white to balance the salad dressing
  • Salmon meals that have been seared or blackened will appreciate a light fruity red
Salmon Dish Wine
Smoked Salmon and Eggs Champagne or Chablis
Smoked Salmon Bagel Sancerre or Sparkling Rosé
Salmon and Asparagus Riesling or Chardonnay
Cedar Plank Salmon Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir
Pan Seared Salmon Valpolicella or Lambrusco
Salmon Salad Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc
Pairing wine with salmon needn’t be difficult. In this video Annabelle McVine compares two possible choices, a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, and a Sancerre wine from France. Which wine pairs with the salmon salad that Annabelle is preparing for lunch? And, stick around to the end to find out the secret to pairing wine with fish.
Best resources for pairing wine and salmon

Wine and Food Pairing with Lamb

Lamb dishes are one of the most wine-friendly types of meal. Lamb is equally at home with new world and old world style reds. Typically we would not serve a white wine with a lamb meal, they are simply not robust enough and would disappear under the weight of the heavy meat and rich sauces. However, a traditional Bordeaux blend is perfect for serving with most styles of European-style lamb meal.

The two main factors for choosing a wine pairing for a lamb meal are the age of the lamb, and the length of cooking time.

Wine and Lamb

Wine and lamb pairing basics:

  • Smaller cuts of quickly cooked young lamb pair well with medium-bodied European red wines or even Sparkling Rosé.
  • Older, fattier cuts of lamb that are slow roasted are better paired with heavy tannic red wines.
  • Exotic lamb dishes such as Lamb Tagine or even a Rogan Josh would benefit from an aromatic white such as a Gewürztraminer.
Lamb Dish Wine
Lamb Chops Languedoc or Chianti
Rack of Lamb Pinot Noir or Sparkling Rosé
Slow-roast Lamb Shoulder Ribera del Duero or Rioja
Lamb Rogan Josh Zinfandel or Gewürztraminer
Greek Lamb Kleftiko Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon
To find the correct wine for lamb, first we must consider how the lamb was cooked. In this case Greek kleftiko lamb shanks are slow cooked in the traditional kleftiko oven. In this video we find out: what is kleftiko, what is the meaning of kleftiko, and we discuss a kleftiko recipe. Enjoy as we compare two top Cypriot red wines with the lamb kleftiko meal: a Kyperounda Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 and a Vlassidies Shiraz 2016. The pairing is exquisite!
Best resources for pairing wine and lamb

Food and Wine – Pairing with Squid

A simple well cooked squid meal should be buttery soft, melt-in-the-mouth delicious all on its own, and is typically paired with something fun and bubbly like a Prosecco or Cava. However, squid is one of those seafood meals that lends itself so well to mix and match seasonings and rich flavours, and these awesome flavours may overwhelm a light, fresh bubbly wine.

When pairing a squid meal, generally we will consider both the method of cooking, and any rich accompanying sauces that are to be served alongside the dish. Garlic is a favourite. Cayenne and Chilli flakes another. For these kinds of kicks we recommend a more fuller bodied white wine such as a Gewürztraminer or a Riesling. Allow the chart below to guide you.

Wine and Squid

Wine and squid pairing basics:

  • Simple squid dishes work well with sparkling wines such as prosecco or cava.
  • Squid meals usually require an acidic white wine to offset that natural seafood saltiness
  • Squid meals with rich seasoning such as chilli or garlic will appreciate a medium or full bodied aromatic white wine.
Squid Dish Wine
Calamari Prosecco or Assyrtiko
Squid Stew Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling
Spicy Squid Stir Fry Semillon or Gewürztraminer
Squid Ink Linguine Pinor Noir or White Burgundy
Prosecco Valdobbiadene DOCG vs Prosecco Extra-Dry DOC. In this video Annabelle McVine matches Italian Prosecco wines with a spicy calamari squid feast. Both Prosecco sparkling wines are light and bubbly, and perfect for a Prosecco Brunch lunchtime wine tasting. Which wine pairs best with the spicy calamari that Annabelle is preparing for lunch?
Best resources for pairing wine and squid

Wine Pairing with Salad

Living in the Mediterranean means there are loads of tasty salads happening at lunch times. It can be tricky to find the right wine to pair with a salad. After all, what wine goes with lettuce, right? Well, not so fast! It is not actually about the lettuce at all.

The main thing to remember when pairing wine with salad is that the vinegar-based dressings will have the biggest impact on your choice of wine. The basic rule is that acid needs acid. So for a high acidity dressing, something vinegar based, you will need a crisp acidic white to balance things out.

The second challenge can be tomatoes. Typically acidic white wines and tomatoes do not play well together. In this case, we would usually choose an oil-based dressing and add a slightly sweeter wine, something off-dry.

Wine and Salad

Wine and salad pairing basics:

  • Acidic vinegear based dressings need an acidic white wine to balance things out.
  • Salads with a lot of tomatoes usually require an off-dry white for a little sweetness.
  • Fruit salads love muscat or moscato wines. Give it a try, you will not be disappointed!
Salad Type Wine
Green Salad with Vinegar Dressing Albarino or Assyrtiko
Caesar Salad Oaked Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
Greek Salad Malagousia or Xynisteri
Waldorf Salad (Apple & Walnuts) Riesling or Gewürztraminer
Goat Cheese Salad Sancerre or Pouilly-Fume
Pairing wine with salad can be complicated because there are such a range of flavours available. This classic chicken Caesar salad recipe is a perfect example of a lunchtime wine pairing. The parmesan flavour of the sauce can make choosing wine and cheese salad dressing difficult. An acidic white wine is the key to success when serving Caesar salad with bacon. In this video Annabelle will guide you through the process of pairing wine with Caesar salad. Watch as Annabelle compares two refreshing white wines (a bottle from Aes Ambelis Winery and a Keo Wine) to find out what goes with caesar salad. Disccover which wine won, and stick around until the end for the bonus tip on pairing wine with salad.
Best resources for pairing wine and salad

Wine and Food Matching with Pork Dishes

Again, as with all great advice, the rules for matching wine and food, specifically for pork dishes is simple: it depends upon how it was cooked. As with many great protein bases, pork is very flexible. Although it has a character of its own, it is usually not enough to shine through both the cooking method and the side dishes or condiments. So, our pork and wine pairing guide is again based upon a list of traditional dishes.

As you can see in the table below, the choices are generally medium or aromatic white options, with a light bodied red wine hiding in the middle. Something delicate such as simple grilled pork chop will typically pair well with a medium white wine. A dish that is more robust, sweet and sticky such a a slow roasted pork belly will appreciate a light-bodied red, e.g. Beaujolais.

Wine and Pork

Wine and pork pairing basics:

  • The pork in a meal is commonly used to soak up or carry other flavours and sauces, so it is not typical to match wine and pork, rather to match wine and pork preparation or wine and pork accompaniment.
  • Pork dishes commonly prefer a medium or aromatic white, but a light-bodied red can be substituted to taste.
Pork Dish Wine
Pork Chops Chenin Blanc or Grenache
Pork Ribs Furmint or Gamay
Pork Belly Sauvignon Blanc or Beaujolais
Pork Tenderloin Gewürztraminer or Vouvray
Pulled Pork Riesling or Tempranillo
What kind of wine goes with pulled pork? Today we are comparing two special bottles of Rioja wine, a 2014 Sierra Cantabria and a 2012 Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Reserva. Annabelle investigates wine pairing with a pulled pork sandwich. And stick around until the end for a top tip on how to pair oaked wine with food.
Best resources for pairing wine and pork

Picnic Wines

When the summer comes, it is natural to start thinking about picnics and picnic wines. But, there are so many possible wine and food pairings that could happen on the picnic blanket.

Enjoy your picnic, and remember the picnic wine basics below to keep yourself cool in the summer and cool on the picnic blanket!

Picnic Wines

Picnic wine basics:

  • Try to avoid any wine and food pairing that will require the perfect wine serving temperature, when you are out in the elements anything might happen.
  • Picnics can be highly varied in style and taste, so to cover most bases we recommend a light red wine such as a Pinot Noir, or a deeper Rosé wine which can match meats, seafood, and sandwiches.
Picnic Food Wine
Dill Potato Salad Petit Chablis or Provence Rosé
Deviled Eggs Prosecco or Cava
Buttermilk Fried Chicken Chablis or Assyrtiko
Macaroni Salad Chardonnay or Dolcetto
Turkey Sandwich Pinot Noir or Fruity Rosé
What is the best wine for picnics? Rosé wine, of course! Theoni Dry Rosé picnic wine from Santa Irene Winery in Cyprus pairs beautifully with picnic food. WineScribble has got her wine picnic backpack and is exploring both the Limassol Cyprus wine routes and the art of choosing a wine for a picnic. Stick around to find out what food is in the wine backpack – you will be surprised by item number three!
Best resources for picnic wines


Wine and food pairing can seem tricky. However, the process becomes demystified when you start thinking of wine as another condiment. It can complement or contrast, but which ever way it relates to food, it must elevate it.

Armed with this quick overview of simple facts about matching wine and food, you should now be able to confidently pick a bottle to accompany your entree with relative ease, by asking yourself some simple, practical questions.