Pairing Wine With Food

To get the right pairing of the right food (or snacks) with the right wine, one has to balance the taste of the wine with the food alongside, keeping in mind the flavor, body, and alcohol. 

It is a good idea to think of the wine as a sauce and added to the food to complement it, without overpowering the taste or delicacy of the dish.

Full-bodied wines go well with full-flavored dishes, while light ones suit more subtle flavors.


An Easy Guide to Matching Food and Wine - Serve, Store & Taste - Wine Basics

  • Salty foods can be had with bold, tannic wines like Barolo or Chianti
  • Acidic food can balance out or cancel the acid in the wine, so one needs to ensure the wine is slightly more acidic than the food.
  • In the case of spicy foods, avoid tannic or oaky red wines, and lean towards a sweeter, rich and off-dry wine.
  • Creamy, buttery or oily foods complement well with equally rich and buttery wine, surprisingly. Deep-fried foods like fried chicken, fish and chips can be had with sharper, cutting wines to counteract the oiliness
  • Umami cuisine (a rage in the UK) is best had with red wine which is not ‘brashly structured’.


  • Sweet desserts dull the flavor of a good dry wine, so it is best to have a slightly different flavor, in the same region, to complement the dessert. 
  • Overly sweet foods need to have the company of ‘Dessert Wines’, which are sweeter than the food!
  • Chocolate is best had with bubbly, grapy wine, as opposed to having a dry wine as a pair.

It is a good idea to mix and match, experiment and find the right combination and see if the ingredients in the dish are grown where the wine comes from, to match the two.


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